Fraser’s looming report raises questions about Stecyk’s dismissal

Last week’s sacking of Highways and Public Works deputy minister John Stecyk came just three weeks before the release of an audit by federal…

Last week’s sacking of Highways and Public Works deputy minister John Stecyk came just three weeks before the release of an audit by federal auditor general Sheila Fraser.

That’s provoked speculation about the reasons for his ouster.

Fraser will personally release her Highways audit on February 2.

Now Stecyk won’t be on hand at a public hearing in the legislature expected after Fraser tables her report.

“I think the issue here is whether or not we’re going to be able to talk to him about it,” said Porter Creek South MLA Don Inverarity, who sits on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Janet Mann, Stecyk’s replacement, probably won’t be able to answer questions about the report, which was compiled under Stecyk’s watch, said Inverarity.

“She (Mann) will be the one who will be in the hearing. But whether she will be able to answer questions related to the time period of the audit, which is the previous year, will be interesting.

“What we don’t want to do is get into a position where we’re asking the (new) deputy minister questions and she’s saying things like, ‘Well, that was before my time.’”

The public accounts committee has, to his knowledge, never subpoenaed a previous employee and appears reluctant to do so, said Inverarity.

Sections of the audit have already been shown to the Yukon government by Fraser’s office, he said, but the opposition parties have to wait until it is released to the public.

Inverarity has asked if Stecyk’s dismissal is connected with the audit. He has not received a response.

“While you would like to say, ‘Well, it’s a coincidence,’ I’m not a great believer in those,” said Inverarity. “It seems convenient. But I don’t know why he was let go. We’re not being told any reason.”

Fraser’s last two audits of Yukon government departments were damning.

In her examination of the Energy Solutions Centre, released in February 2005, Fraser found managers at the department showed “disregard” for good management practices.

Her audit of the Yukon Energy Corporation’s handling of the Mayo-Dawson transmission line upgrade, released the same day, found the company did a poor job of planning and implementing the project.

Originally slated to cost $27 million, the link ended up costing more than $36 million.

No reason has been given for Stecyk’s firing.

“The deputy ministers serve at pleasure, and Mr. Stecyk’s appointment was revoked,” said Patricia Daws, Public Service Commissioner, on Friday.

“There won’t be (any explaination),” said Daws. “It was an at-pleasure appointment and we won’t be saying anything further than that.”

Highways Minister Archie Lang was contacted, but declined a request for an interview.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Porter Creek highway shooting now attempted murder investigation

Police believe incident was “targeted and related to the illicit drug trade and organized crime”

Inuvik mayor pens letter of concern about Dempster conditions

Conditions near Eagle Plains have been “terrible” the past two summers, she says

Yukon skiers embrace experience at Winter Youth Olympic Games

Derek Deuling and Sasha Masson skied for Team Canada at the 2020 Lausanne Winter Youth Olympic Games

‘It was terribly traumatic to lose a patient,’ nurse says during Blackjack inquest

The inquest is now happening at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

Whitehorse council and staff consider low-income transit fares

The discussion leaves anti-poverty coalition members feeling optimistic

Today’s mailbox: Biomass, fire

Letters to the editor published Jan. 24

EDITORIAL: The health department needs a time-out

The information and privacy commissioner deserves to be treated better

Yukon Rivermen face tough tests on the road

The team is in the middle of its busiest stretch of the season — 10 league games in three weeks

Yukon skiers battle both rain and heavy snowfall at 2020 Haywood Western Canada Cup

“They also realize that you have to be ready for anything — extreme cold or extreme warm.”

City news, briefly

Some of the discussions from Whitehorse city council on Jan 20

Driving with Jens: Both motorists and pedestrians have responsibilities when sharing the road

Roadways are a shared-use public resource. They are meant to be shared… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Biomass

Letters to the editor published Jan. 17

Most Read