The Government of Yukon is reviewing the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) and Public Health and Safety Act (PHSA) to identify how the Yukon can be better prepared to address future emergencies.
CEMA and PHSA have provided essential tools to help the Yukon manage the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent the most severe health impacts over the last two years. The review is an opportunity to strengthen the Yukon’s legislative framework and ensure that the right tools are available to guide coordinated public health and emergency responses in the future.
Drawing on lessons learned since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, work is underway to assess the scope of the legislative review and to examine similar emergency management legislation in other jurisdictions. This includes examining the process and results of a review of emergency legislation in British Columbia that started in 2016 and is expected to result in modernized legislation later this year.
The review of the Civil Emergency Measures Act and Public Health and Safety Act will identify gaps, capture best practices, incorporate adaptation and mitigation efforts related to increasing climate change risks, and identify areas for improved coordination through engagement with First Nations governments, municipalities and stakeholders throughout the territory.
Over the past several years, the Yukon has seen several emergencies due to wildfires, flooding and the pandemic. By reviewing how the Civil Emergency Measures Act has worked to protect Yukoners and the territory, we have an opportunity to build on our experiences and fine-tune our legislation to meet the Yukon’s unique needs and modernize our approach to emergency management.
Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn
As we move into a new phase of COVID-19 and continue to use the Public Health and Safety Act as a tool, we have an opportunity to reflect on how the Act has served and protected the health and safety of Yukoners over the past two years. This work will identify how we can strengthen legislation to better support the health and safety of all Yukoners and the needs of the territory.
Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee
The review of the Civil Emergency Measures Act and the Public Health and Safety Act is identified in the 2021 mandate letters of the Minster of Health and Social Services and the Minister of Community Services.
In 2020, an all-party Special Committee on Civil Emergency Legislation was established. Several meetings were held and submissions were received from a number of Yukon government departments.
The Yukon lifted the State of Emergency in response to COVID-19 on March 17, 2022.