Former Whitehorse Star editor, mayor and territorial cabinet minister Florence (Flo) Whyard has passed away.

Whyard died Monday morning at the age of 95.

Whyard was born in 1917 in Ontario. She was elected as a member of the legislative assembly for Whitehorse West in 1974. She was a minister from 1975-1978.


Flo Whyard in costume as Martha Black at Dyea, Alaska, at the start of Klondike Trail which Black climbed in 1898. (Photo by CBC/Yukon crew filming documentary about Martha Black.)

Ione Christensen is the former Yukon commissioner and a family friend of Whyard’s. She said one of the initiatives Whyard spearheaded was the creation of the Macauley Lodge.

"When she was minister, she was instrumental in getting Macauley Lodge built. And I used to tease her when she had to move in that she couldn’t complain because if anything was wrong she only had herself to blame," said Christensen.

Christensen said the former editor always had strong opinions and didn’t hesitate to share them.

Whitehorse mayor Bev Buckway, who went through school with Whyard’s children, said she was a trailbreaker for Yukon women.

"Flo was one of the early women that took the mayor’s chair. It wasn’t all that common in past years to have women on council, so Flo was one of the early pioneers, you might say," said Buckway.

Whyard served as mayor of the city from 1981 to 1983.