The Commissioner’s role
The Commissioner is appointed by the Government of Canada and is Yukon’s Head of State. They are an important figure in the legislature and the Government of Yukon.
The Commissioner is responsible for:
- ensuring Yukon has a Premier in the case of resignation or death or if the government resigns following a defeat in the legislature or in an election;
- ensuring continuity of government and maintaining democratic freedoms;
- swearing-in Members of Yukon Legislative Assembly;
- delivering the Speech from the Throne at the opening of each legislative session;
- summoning, proroguing and dissolving the legislature;
- providing assent to bills passed by the Yukon Legislative Assembly, enabling them to become law;
- signing Orders-in-Council, Commissioner’s warrants, statutory appointments and dispositions of Commissioner’s lands on the advice of Cabinet; and
- representing the distinct interests of Yukon’s people by acting as a symbolic head of Yukon, including attending official functions.
Education and work experience
Madame Bernard arrived in Yukon in January 1995 for a four-month translation internship with the Bureau of French Language Services. After graduating from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Arts, specialization in Translation, she returned to Whitehorse in fall 1995. She also holds a Certificate in Introduction to Interpreting from Vancouver Community College.
From 1996 to 2001, Madame Bernard worked as a development officer with Les EssentiElles, a non profit organization that represents the interests of Yukon’s French-speaking women. From 2000 to March 2018, she operated her own translation firm, Traduction ABC Translation. She provided translation, revision, proofreading and research services to more than 150 businesses, government departments and organizations in Yukon, Canada, the United States and Australia.
From 2005 to 2012, Madame Bernard was also a freelance court recorder where she recorded French, English and bilingual trials in Yukon and transcribed French trials.
Madame Bernard has an extensive volunteer history in Yukon. From 2010 to 2017, she was President of the Board of Directors of the Association franco yukonnaise (AFY). During this time, she worked to improve relations and engagement with the Government of Yukon and developed a position paper for the Franco-Yukon community.
Madame Bernard has also been active in the sports community. rom 2000 to 2005, she was a member of the National Board of Directors of the Canadian Women’s Health Network. She was President of the Whitehorse Women’s Soccer Association in 1998 and 1999 and an athletics coach with the Yukon Special Olympics in 1996 and 1997. She continues to volunteer at her sons’ school and hockey games.
As well as acting and producing numerous plays in French, Madame Bernard wrote an article called “The Adventures of Emilie Tremblay in Yukon” for the Réseau national d’action éducation femmes in 2002. She also wrote Women’s Francophone Theatre in Yukon for Les cahiers de la Francophonie no 8 – Femmes en francophonie in 2000.
For 20 years, from 1998-2018, Madame Bernard hosted Rencontres, the francophone weekly radio show on CBC North.
Madame Bernard has been widely recognized for her community involvement and dedication to Francophone rights. The Alliance des femmes de la francophonie canadienne recognized her as one of the top 100 women who have had the biggest impact on Canada’s Francophone community over the last 100 years. Madame Bernard was also named one of the 10 Francophone influential personalities in Canada (outside of Quebec) for 2019.
Born in Brossard, on the South Shore of Montreal in 1972, Madame Bernard is married to David Comchi and they have 2 children, Sébastien and Samuel. The family enjoys camping, biking, playing soccer, tennis and travelling.