Letter to the Editor

YEC is a bully The Yukon Energy Corporation no longer holds the monopoly on the arrogant bullying of their customers. Yukon Electrical Co. Ltd.

YEC is a bully

The Yukon Energy Corporation no longer holds the monopoly on the arrogant bullying of their customers.

Yukon Electrical Co. Ltd. is just as guilty, if not more.

Let me give you three examples: 1) The electrical company is responsible for maintenance of their meters, which read the amount of energy each customer uses.

If a customer has problems with the meter, he or she has to pay to get the meter changed and checked. If the electrical company decides the meter is not working properly in its favour, it comes in and changes it at its discretion.

If the meter has not read anything or very little, a disadvantage for the company, it will charge the customer the average billing for the past several months, although it has no idea about the amount of electricity used.

This is totally unfair and, the way I see it, it’s a totally illegal practice.

2) The electrical company is responsible for disconnecting all distribution of power into their customers’ residences or places of business.

Now suppose a customer sends a letter to the electrical company to have the power shut-off on a certain date, giving about two weeks notice to do so. The company does not act on this for several days after the fact.

When notified, the electrical company proclaims it had priority workload that day.

Not to act on this as requested by a customer not only jeopardized this ratepayer’s liability if someone was hurt or killed due to fact that electricity was supposedly discontinued and was left connected; it also displays a negative corporate policy on how to treat consumers.

3) Yukon Electrical Co. Ltd. has a program that supposedly protects landlords and property managers when a tenant requests to have the power terminated in the cold months of the year.

The power is automatically placed under the owner’s name.

In theory, this sounds like good practice.

But, in reality it can be a nightmare, because Yukon Electric fails to contact the customer to let them know of the transaction.

Let me give a hypothetical example: the tenant has problems paying the high costs of fuel oil and runs into trouble; they then have to rely on electric power to heat their home, they run into more trouble as their electrical bill escalates, the power is shut down under the tenant’s name due to not fully paying bills; the power is automatically transferred to the owner/landlord without notice.

Then this owner receives a bill of several hundred dollars without any idea of what has taken place.

When I approached the Yukon Electrical Co. to ask why it did not notify owners/landlords at the time of such transfer taking place, as they used to do, I was abruptly told that “Yukon Electrical is not a baby-sitting service.”

Is that not an arrogant attitude from a corporate citizen?

Now Yukon Electric wants its customers to pay for an extra $4.2 million to put in newfangled meters and another $1.5 million to put in a new billing system … all imported from its parent company in Alberta, the same shareholder.

What? So it can tell us that the system is now so perfect, it can sufficiently “babysit” their Yukon customers.

At the same time, it is asking to raise our rates five per cent in 2008 and six per cent in 2009!

If you have a similar complaint about Yukon Electrical Co. please notify me at: rrondeau@northwestel.net.

Roger Rondeau, president Utilities Consumers’ Group, Whitehorse

Minister defends

daycare decisions

Open letter to Todd Hardy:

This letter is in response to your correspondence concerning Lilian McCuaig, owner of Curious Buddies Daycare and actions taken by the Health and Social Services department to ensure the health and safety of children in licensed child-care spaces.

All matters related to inspection and compliance are operational in nature, and are handled by the competent staff of child-care services unit.

Child-care inspectors are responsible for ensuring child-care programs meet minimum requirements under legislation and regulations.

Child-care inspectors assist child-care operators and provide resources to ensure ongoing compliance with the regulations and, if programs are not in compliance, they work with the operator to help resolve the problems.

A decision to refuse to issue a license or revoke a license is not taken lightly, and occurs when staff of child-care services unit believe such action is needed to ensure the health and safety of children.

Since Curious Buddies Daycare received an interim license in November 2007, child-care services unit has worked extensively to help McCuaig and her staff to meet regulation standards.

The program has been provided with financial resources, training, support and guidance prior to licensing and during its seven-month period of operation.

Despite that extensive support, Curious Buddies Daycare did not maintain basic health and safety practices, and significant health and safety risks to children have not been resolved.

Child-care services unit has contacted parents to provide them with a list of alternative child-care providers who have spaces available.

Child-care services unit staff are continuing to offer assistance to McCuaig in rectifying problems and potentially meeting re licensing requirements.

Parents rightfully expect that child-care services unit will require child-care operators to comply with the regulations that protect the health and safety of their children, and they can rest assured that this is exactly what staff of child-care services unit are doing and will continue to do.

Brad Cathers, minister, Health and Social Services

Open letter to Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell:

This letter is in response to your letter of June 5 regarding Ms. McCuaig, owner of Curious Buddies Daycare and actions taken by the Health and Social Services department to ensure the health and safety of children in licensed child-care spaces.

All matters related to inspection and compliance are operational in nature, and are handled by the competent staff of the Health and Social Services’ child-care services unit.

I must take strong issue with statements you made about employees of the department of Health and Social Services.

In your letter, you accused department staff of making public statements that “contradict the facts,” and implied that they had not dealt with this issue in a professional manner.

Your statements are uncalled for, and unfair to these dedicated public servants.

Child-care inspectors assist child-care operators and provide resources to ensure ongoing compliance with the regulations and, if programs are not in compliance, they work with the operator to help them resolve problems.

A decision to refuse to issue a licence or revoke a licence is not taken lightly, and occurs when staff of child-care services unit believe such action is needed to ensure the health and safety of children.

Child-care services unit staff are continuing to offer assistance to Ms. McCuaig in rectifying problems and potentially meeting relicensing requirements.

Parents rightfully expect that child-care services unit will require child-care operators to comply with the regulations that protect the health and safety of their children, and they can rest assured that this is exactly what staff of child-care services unit are doing and will continue to do.

Brad Cathers, minister, Health and Social Services