Conflict of interest on YDC board revealed

An appointee to the Yukon Development Corporation board of directors has been dropped over conflict-of-interest fears.

An appointee to the Yukon Development Corporation board of directors has been dropped over conflict-of-interest fears.

Mark Pike, who works at the accounting firm MacKay and Partners in Whitehorse, was recently dropped by the board, said Ray Hayes, the board’s chair.

“We had a conversation about it with Mark, we did some research, as did Mark, and we came to the same conclusion,” said Hayes.

MacKay and Partners has done work for Yukon Development and its subsidiary, the Yukon Energy Corporation.

“All of us said it would be in everybody’s best interest if he stepped down and we would find somebody else,” said Hayes.

Pike and Hayes were nominated alongside two other appointees, Kevin Brewer and Eric Nyland, in late October.

The nominations are made by Executive Council, which is run by Premier Dennis Fentie.

Pike was never an official appointment, said Hayes. But his name does appear on an Executive Council list of current Yukon board and committee appointees dated December 23. Pike did not return a phone message.

The appointments at Yukon Development and Yukon Energy have been contentious ever since the resignation of half their boards last June.

Back then, both corporations shared their boards. Willard Phelps, Greg Hakonson, Paul Hunter and Martin Allen resigned on June 8 because Premier Dennis Fentie was secretly trying to privatize the public utility.

Since the controversy arose, Fentie has decided to separate the boards, though he’s offered little public explanation for the policy change. Yukon Development’s main responsibility is facilitating loans with Yukon Energy.

And while the Yukon Development board is on the hunt for one more position, Yukon Energy is still down four.

Yukon Energy decided to outsource the appointment process to Vancouver-based Watson and Associates, a public service hiring firm.

Watson is being paid $50,000 to hire the four appointees.

They’ve already provided Yukon Development’s governance committee with a short-list of six candidates. Twenty-one people applied for the positions, said Yukon Energy president David Morrison said on Friday.

The candidates will be interviewed over the next few weeks by the committee, which is composed of Yukon development board members.

Following that, the board itself will confirm the appointments. Then it’s cabinet’s turn to clear the appointments. And finally, the legislature’s Standing Committee on Appointments to Major Government Boards and Committees would give its green light to the candidates.

Contact James Munson at

jamesm@yukon-news.com.