For the past seven months Premier Dennis Fentie has maintained he is not negotiating the sale of the Yukon Energy Corporation to ATCO. He also repeatedly denied that talks are taking place with ATCO about selling managerial control of the publicly owned utility.
In spite of Fentie’s denials, ATIPP requests by the Yukon News for documents relating to the Yukon/ATCO discussions have been refused by the government citing protection of the “negotiations carried on, by or for a public body or the government of Yukon.”
I certainly hope the Yukon News appeals the government’s attempt to conceal the release of information so obviously in the public interest.
With the June resignations of four Yukon Energy board members, who quit after learning of the secret discussions with ATCO, the jig was up. The courage displayed by these Yukoners brought the premier’s actions to the attention of the public. We have now learned that two separate proposals from ATCO regarding the privatization of the Yukon Energy Corporation exist, along with a seven-page, joint-position paper about the proposed sale.
Minister Brad Cathers has now resigned from the Yukon Party caucus citing Fentie’s bullying behaviour. “The premier lied to the public and the MLAs about his involvement in discussions with ATCO, and about what was on the table,” Cathers said.
Hopefully other Yukon Party caucus members will muster up the same courage displayed by Cathers, Phelps, Hakonson, Hunter and Allen (the Yukon Energy Corp. board members who resigned).
We agree completely with Cathers when he states, “I sure encourage them (ministers) to join me in standing up to Premier Fentie by leaving the caucus Ã‰.”
The premier has betrayed Yukoners. Fentie should, as NDP Leader Todd Hardy suggests, “be shown the door.”
president, Yukon Area Council
Public Service Alliance of Canada