Cathers apologizes to lawyers …

Cathers apologizes to lawyers ...

Cathers apologizes to

lawyers … with doughnuts

Government lawyers were surprised earlier this month by a delivery of doughnuts to their coffee room.

Thomas Ullyett, assistant deputy minister of legal services, explained the appearance in an email to staff.

“The doughnuts were provided by the premier’s chief of staff (Rick Nielsen) on behalf of EMR Minister Brad Cathers,” states the April 4 email.

“As reported by CBC Radio this morning, yesterday afternoon in the heat of debate during question period Minister Cathers suggested that Justice’s lawyers were not as skilled as those at the well-known oil company, Chevron Canada. The minister’s comments were unfortunate but truly a slip of the tongue.”

On April 3, Cathers said that if the government were to accept the final recommended plan for the Peel watershed, it would be sued by Chevron and surely lose.

“Does the NDP really believe that the Crest iron ore deposit, which was staked over 50 years ago and has been kept current, at a cost, by companies since that time, is something they would simply walk away from when case law would demonstrate very clearly that if the Yukon government were to deny access to the even potential development of the Crest iron ore deposit, we would, quite simply, lose in court to Chevron, which has a lot deeper pockets and a lot better lawyers than the Yukon government does?”

His comments did not reflect the esteem that Cathers holds for the government’s lawyers, according to Ullyett.

“For many years Legal Services has had a close, strong and trusted working relationship with EMR officials at all levels of that department.”

(Jacqueline Ronson)

Premier plays for time

on missing aboriginal women file

The Globe and Mail reported that this week aboriginal affairs ministers from all provinces and territories, except B.C., joined to push for a federal inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls.

But Yukon’s Premier Darrell Pasloski, responsible for land claims, was not at the Wednesday meeting of the working group of the provincial and territorial aboriginal affairs ministers.

Yukon sent representation at the official, but not the political level, confirmed Pasloski in the legislature yesterday.

“Representing Yukon were the assistant deputy minister responsible for the land claims and implementation secretariat, as well as the director of policy. They have just returned. There will be a communication coming from the chair of their aboriginal affairs working group, and it will be seeking an endorsement, I assume. We will have a look at the letter. We will look forward to the opportunity to be briefed by our officials on the meeting as well.”

The NDP Opposition pushed again for a commitment from the premier to call for a federal inquiry.

But the premier insisted that he would have to speak with officials and review the working group’s proposal before making a commitment.

“Like with anything else, this government looks at things before we make a decision.”

(Jacqueline Ronson)