Former Yukon premier Dennis Fentie dies

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Dennis Fentie, the former premier of Yukon, died Friday after battling cancer.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement expressing his “deepest sympathies” to Fentie’s wife and family.“I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dennis Fentie, former Premier of Yukon, after a battle with cancer,” Trudeau said in the statement.I was sad to hear of Dennis Fentie’s passing after his battle with cancer. His contributions as Premier of Yukon will not be forgotten, and I send my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. Please read my statement:— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 31, 2019
Fentie was a “proud” business owner who was first elected to Yukon’s Legislative Assembly in 1996, according to the prime minister’s statement.READ MORE: Trudeau allocates new funds for Iqaluit housing as crisis takes toll on homelessBorn in Edmonton, Alta. in 1950, he became premier of Yukon in 2002 until he resigned in 2011.“During his two terms in office, Mr. Fentie worked to strengthen the territory’s economy and revitalize the mining industry,” Trudeau said in the statement.“He also took steps to create partnerships with Indigenous peoples, and to promote cooperation between governments on economic development and health care.”Fentie was first elected as MLA of Watson Lake in 1996, according to the Yukon Party.He had a “tenacious spirit and always fought for his constituents and for Yukoners no matter the issue,” the party said in a statement Friday.It is with great sadness we have learned of the passing of former Premier Dennis Fentie. He will be missed. Our heartfelt condolences to his family. Statement from Yukon Party leader @StaceyHassard below.— Yukon Party (@yukonparty) August 30, 2019
Today flags at all City facilities are to be flown at half-mast in recognition of the passing of former Premier of Yukon Dennis Fentie.— City of Whitehorse (@city_whitehorse) August 30, 2019
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Current Yukon Premier Sandy Silver described Fentie as a “respected leader” who “passionately represented the people of Watson Lake and southeast Yukon for 15 years in the Yukon Legislative Assembly.”“As an MLA, he fought hard to ensure rural Yukon communities were at the forefront of decision making in the territory,” he said in a statement Friday.READ MORE: Trudeau gets glimpse of Inuit traditions with 2-day trip to NunavutFormer prime minister Stephen Harper issued his condolences as well, saying he was “saddened” to hear of Fentie’s death.“Dennis was a formidable colleague and a tireless champion of Canada’s North,” Harper tweeted.I was saddened to learn of the passing of former Yukon Premier, Dennis Fentie. Dennis was a formidable colleague and a tireless champion of Canada’s North. Laureen and I extend our heartfelt condolences to Lorraine and their entire family.— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) August 31, 2019
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