Wade Istchenko was first elected as the MLA for Kluane in the Yukon Legislative Assembly in the general election of 2011. He was re-elected on November 7, 2016.
He currently serves as Opposition critic for the Department of Environment, Economic Development, Liquor and Lotteries Commissions, as well as Yukon Energy Corporation and Yukon Development Corporation.
His previous experience includes serving as the Minister for Environment and Highways and Public Works.
Mr. Istchenko was born in Whitehorse and raised in Haines Junction. He attended St. Elias Community School and, after graduation in 1984, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces, where he completed training in various locations across Canada and served with NATO forces in Germany for three years. He remains a proud member of the Canadian Rangers and the Royal Canadian Legion and has 26 years of service in the military to date.
Prior to entering the public service, he had been running an outdoor adventure company, Kluane Ridin’ Adventure Tours.
Mr. Istchenko has served in various capacities in his community, including as President and Vice-President of the St. Elias Lions Club, President of the St. Elias Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Alsek Renewable Resource Council. He was also appointed to the Kluane Park Management Board and was instrumental in the development of the Alsek-Tatshenshini National Park.
Mr. Istchenko, as a Canadian Ranger Sergeant, runs the Junior Canadian Ranger youth program in Haines Junction. He has also coached minor hockey for five years and is the founder and first President of the Haines Junction Snowmobile Club.
Mr. Istchenko’s grandmother, Hilda Watson, was an MLA for the electoral district of Kluane and the first woman to lead a political party in Canada.
He and his wife Donna have two sons, Joshua and Travis.