Mitchell responds to Rolf Hougen

Mitchell responds to Rolf Hougen Re letter from Rolf Hougen on Yukon electrical power: I read with interest your letter to the editor on Yukon electrical power, September 9. In it, you cited your long association with ATCO / Yukon Electrical Co. Ltd.

Re letter from Rolf Hougen on Yukon electrical power:

I read with interest your letter to the editor on Yukon electrical power, September 9. 

In it, you cited your long association with ATCO / Yukon Electrical Co. Ltd. You indicated that “rationalization” of the assets and operations of the Yukon Energy Corporation with ATCO / YECL has been on the agenda since the time of the Tony Penikett government. You also indicated that there were efficiencies and cost savings that could be realized if rationalization could be accomplished.

Respectfully sir, Yukoners recognize the potential benefits of “rationalization,” as it has been defined by Willard Phelps, several former Yukon premiers, and yourself: that is, an exchange of assets that would result in Yukon Energy Corporation being responsible for the wholesale generation and distribution of electrical energy in Yukon, and ATCO / Yukon Electrical Co. Ltd. being responsible for its retail sale and distribution.

Over the past year, Premier Dennis Fentie had been secretly negotiating something much more significant than “rationalization.”  Public documents demonstrate that the premier was negotiating the sale of public assets and future generating capacity of the publicly owned Yukon Energy Corporation. That is privatization, not rationalization.

In spite of this overwhelming evidence and the recent resignations of four YEC board members and the former minister of Energy, Mines & Resources, the premier and his remaining cabinet ministers continue to deny these indefensible actions. To quote the former energy minister, this issue “is not about electricity Ð it is about integrity.”

Bullying, intimidation and misleading the public are not leadership qualities. Fentie has clearly proven himself to be untrustworthy. This is the crux of the issue. This is also the reason that the Official Opposition will be calling for a vote of nonconfidence in the Yukon Party government at the earliest opportunity.

Arthur Mitchell, MLA Copperbelt

Yukon Liberal Party leader