Willard Phelps

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The Honourable
Willard Phelps
2nd Premier of Yukon
In office
March 23, 1985[1] – May 28, 1985[1]
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
Commissioner Douglas Bell
Preceded by Chris Pearson
Succeeded by Tony Penikett
MLA for Rossriver Southern Lakes
In office
20 February 1989 – 30 September 1996
Preceded by position established
Succeeded by Dave Keenan
MLA for Hootalinqua
In office
7 June 1982 – 20 February 1989
Preceded by Al Falle
Succeeded by position abolished
Personal details
Born (1941-10-23) 23 October 1941 (age 73)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Political party Progressive Conservative

Willard Leroy Phelps (born 23 October 1941) is a former Yukon politician, who briefly served as Government Leader in 1985.[2]

Political career[edit]

Phelps was first elected to the territorial legislature in 1974 but did not run in the first election with political party participation in 1978. However, with the resignation of Chris Pearson as Government Leader in 1985 the Progressive Conservatives chose Phelps as its new leader and he was accordingly the second Government Leader[3] from March 23 to May 28, 1985,[1] when the Yukon NDP took office after winning the 1985 election. Phelps was leader of the opposition from 1985 until 1991. When the Progressive Conservatives became the Yukon Party Phelps became an Independent Alliance MLA but sat in the new party's caucus.

When John Ostashek's Yukon Party took power in 1992 with a minority government, Phelps lent his support and became minister of justice, health and social services. In 1994 he dropped the justice portfolio and picked up responsibility for education. In his responsibilities for social services, Phelps instituted welfare reform hiring private investigators to look into welfare recipients. He also argued for the privatization of the government owned energy concern. Phelps resigned his cabinet positions in March 1996. Phelps ran for re-election but lost his seat in the fall election.

Phelps formed the United Citizens Party of Yukon in 2009 to oppose the government of Dennis Fentie. He resigned as the party leader on May 9, 2011 due to health reasons and waning interest.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Territory File - Premiers - Yukon". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ Index: Pe-Ph at rulers.org
  3. ^ Profile of Willard Phelps at Opportunities North 2008
  4. ^ "United Citizens Party of Yukon loses leader". CBC News. May 9, 2011.