Open letter to Dennis Fentie, minister responsible for Yukon Development and Energy Corporations, re YEC ad to recruit new board members:
I am surprised to see Yukon Energy Corporation’s name and logo in recent advertisements in local media to recruit new members and a chair for its board of directors. I believe using a private company, based in British Columbia, to help find candidates to serve as directors for our publicly owned electric utility is unprecedented and unnecessary.
The Yukon Development Corporation Act makes it clear that cabinet appoints the directors of YDC. Since Yukon Energy is a subsidiary of YDC, incorporated under the Yukon Business Corporations Act, the owner of Yukon Energy, namely YDC, has the legal authority and mandate to recommend any appointments to the board of YEC.
All previous Yukon governments, regardless of their political stripe, honoured the spirit and intent of both acts.
Dennis Fentie, why the change in direction for appointments to the YEC board, and why does the recruitment advertisement placed by Watson Advisors Inc. in the Whitehorse Star and Yukon News newspapers carry the YEC’s name and logo, when it is the YDC that recommends these appointments to cabinet?
The 2009-2010 shareholder letter, which sets out your political policy directives as minister responsible for YDC/YEC, indicates the corporations will work with Energy, Mines and Resources to complete the revision of their corporate governance structure(s) for approval by the minister and cabinet.
In recent media interviews, David Morrison, the president of Yukon Energy, described the change in selection process for the YEC board and chair as being an “evolution.”
Is this a further step in the evolution towards privatization of energy resources in Yukon?
The move by Yukon Energy to separate its identity from YDC also raises questions about how changes to the revised governance structure may impact on commitments made in Yukon Land Claims Agreements regarding both Yukon First Nation representation and economic opportunities.
As minister, representing the shareholders in YEC/YDC, namely all Yukoners, will you share with them your vision for how YDC/YEC are to be governed as suggested in the shareholder letter?
The Yukon Party track record with respect to YDC/YEC has been a dismal series of ad hoc events: from secret meetings with ATCO, board and ministerial resignations, independent /private power production policy consultation and now governance changes. It is time for you, as premier, to clearly set out the Yukon Party’s plan for our publicly owned utilities.
I raise these issues because I, along with many other Yukoners, remain unconvinced the Yukon Party government has entirely abandoned its plans to privatize the territory’s publicly owned energy assets.
Elizabeth Hanson, leader,
Yukon New Democratic Party