Alford challenges Fentie at meeting

Tuesday, Renee Alford finally got the chance to buttonhole politicians about her son’s dismissal from government.

Tuesday, Renee Alford finally got the chance to buttonhole politicians about her son’s dismissal from government.

She wanted to know how Premier Dennis Fentie could justify refusing employment to people pursuing a legal grievance against the government.

She’s written several letters and called government ministers and MLAs, and she’s received no credible explanation.

So Alford confronted Fentie before a dozen Whitehorse West constituents gathered in the library at Ecole Emilie Tremblay.

Alford’s son, Dominic Alford, was denied employment within the Yukon government because he was seeking a judicial review of a decision that allowed the government to fire him from a previous job.

“This is a question that is before the court, that cannot be confused with an individual personnel matter,” Renee Alford told Fentie and Elaine Taylor, the Yukon Party MLA for Whitehorse West and minister responsible for the Public Service Commission.

“You cannot keep evading questions or letting things accumulate.”

Alford is not one of Taylor’s constituents, but was accompanied by a relative who is.

There are glaring contradictions between government policy and action, said Alford, who was armed with quotes from the legislative assembly and a sworn affidavit from a government human resources director.

The government would never support “a hiring policy that would diminish the rights of individuals to access justice,” said Fentie in November.

“It has been confirmed that there is no policy linking hiring to pursuing a lawsuit against the government,” said Taylor in the legislature.

The statements contradict an affidavit, sworn in March by human resources director Carolyn MacDonald.

Dominic Alford “could not expect to sue his employer and then be considered for future job offers,” it said.

“If there is no policy, how can it guide the Public Service Commission?” demanded Renee Alford.

“There is a poisonous atmosphere that is pervading the government.

“I’ve been seeing this growing for a long time, and it is vital for you to pay attention to it.

“This is what is so scary, and this is what needs investigation.”

“I stand by what I said: There is no such policy in government,” said Fentie.

If Alford wanted to discuss the alleged contradiction, they’d have to discuss her son’s entire file, Fentie warned.

That would involve discussing the government’s 2003 computer-misuse investigation, the Yukon Employee’s Union, an adjudicator’s decision and a judge’s ruling, he said.

And when Alford persisted, Fentie brought out the big guns.

“We’re dealing with something that should not have happened in the first place, and that is the downloading of pornography on government computers,” he told Alford.

“That kind of behaviour is unacceptable. It is a difference between right and wrong.”

“There was another thing that was wrong — the government’s total abuse of power” in the handling of the computer-misuse investigation, Alford shot back.

The debate dominated Taylor’s meeting, until someone stepped in with a question about the Yukon’s Larger Than Life slogan.

 “It’s been 25 minutes,” he said.

“I’m frustrated, but not too surprised,” said Alford afterwards.

“That’s been the government’s approach all along.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Site selection for battery project draws ire of nearby landowners

Yukon Energy is accepting public comments on three possible sites for the project

Taking a closer look at the cosmos

Star gazing party scheduled for Sept. 18

Former Yukon U president takes new job following resignation

Vice President University Services Maggie Matear has been appointed as interim president

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Sept. 18, 2020

Arrest made in 2019 Ross River murder

Phillip Atkinson, 63, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mary Ann Ollie

Baggage screening changes begin

Passengers are asked to arrive earlier than normal in order to accommodate the new temporary system

Yukon Government extends education review

The final report is scheduled for release in March 2021

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Lawsuit against Freedom Trails settled

The suit was dismissed with consent of all parties

Tank farm takes another step towards development

OCP designation passes second reading

Climate change strategy targets 30 per cent reduction in territory greenhouse gases by 2030

The strategy includes rebates for electric vehicles but puts off mining targets for two years

Watson Lake to hold mayoral byelection

Residents of Watson Lake will elect a new mayor on Oct. 8.… Continue reading

Teslin Tlingit Council elects chief, deputy chief

Teslin Tlingit Council citizens have elected Eric Morris as the new Naa Sháade Háni

Most Read