Mr. Speaker, over the past few months the Yukon has lost two iconic figures.
Alex Van Bibber passed away in late November at the age of 98. A child of the gold rush, Alex played a hand in almost every major event in the Yukon, including becoming one of the first Canadian Rangers in 1947. He pioneered the Yukon's robust outfitting industry and led the humane trapping initiative. He worked eight summers on a gold dredge.
When Robert Kennedy came north to climb a Yukon mountain for his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Alex was hired as one of the expedition guides. He embodied everything that is great about the Yukon and was dubbed the toughest man in Canada.
The recent passing of Yukon artist Ted Harrison at the age of 88 has left a distinct hole in the Yukon art scene, as well as the hearts of Yukoners. His vision of the north and its people was so vibrant that it not only filled Yukoners with pride but made others long to visit and witness the majesty of Yukon for themselves.
Mr. Harrison is one of Canada's most popular artists. His love of the land and the people of Yukon brought him international acclaim, and his paintings can be found in private collections around the world.
Both of these men contributed to Yukon. We are sad for their loss but proud they are Yukoners.