Garbage contract stinks: Teslin First Nation

There's a legal dust-up underway between the Village of Teslin and the business arm of the Teslin Tlingit Council. In the tendering of a garbage-hauling contract, the First Nation alleges the village played dirty.

There’s a legal dust-up underway between the Village of Teslin and the business arm of the Teslin Tlingit Council.

In the tendering of a garbage-hauling contract, the First Nation alleges the village played dirty.

It’s asking for $127,000 in damages.

The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that a village councillor voted to award a waste-disposal contract to a company owned by a relative.

It all started last year, when the village began planning to convert its landfill into a transfer station, where garbage would be periodically collected and hauled to Whitehorse.

To provide the garbage bins and to haul the waste, the village enlisted the help of a Whitehorse-based company called General Waste Management, which is owned by the Teslin First Nation’s development corporation, Tle’nax T’awei Industrial Limited Partnership.

But this deal only lasted five months, because in March the village awarded a five-year garbage-hauling contract to a Teslin-based company, Deadman Creek Enterprises.

The lawsuit alleges the village “covertly” sole-sourced this contract without approaching General Waste. It notes the village has a policy of tendering any work worth more than $10,000.

The allegation a councillor was in a conflict-of-interest when voting to award the work to Deadman Creek is at odds with the minutes of the Teslin village council.

The lawsuit never mentions the councillor by name, but Councillor Stacey Hassard is the son of Robert Hassard, owner of Deadman Creek.

And Stacey Hassard abstained from the vote to award the garbage contract to Deadman Creek, according to the March 23 minutes.

However, Stacey Hassard appears to have voted in earlier decisions that led up to the fallout with General Waste.

On February 23, council decided to cancel its arrangement with General Waste to rent garbage bins for $500 per month. Instead, it sole-sourced two bins from Deadman Creek for $24,999.

The price is one penny shy of having to comply with the Yukon government’s tendering policy. The village needed to comply with the territory’s rules if it wanted to tap the federal gas-tax fund.

Stacey Hassard was present at this meeting. If he abstained during this vote, it’s not noted in the minutes.

Hassard refused to comment on the matter because it is before the courts.Mayor Robin Smarch could not be reached before press time.

The lawsuit also alleges the village went bid-shopping.

When Deadman Creek was asked to provide a quote for its services, it offered, in a February 16 letter, to haul garbage for $750 per load. But, in the end, the company matched the lower price on offer from General Waste, of $670 per load.

General Waste insists it had another good reason to expect the contract to be tendered. It had asked for the work to be sole-sourced to them, but was told by village representatives that this “would cause problems with other contractors,” the lawsuit states.

Council knew its decision on March 23 to sole-source the work to Deadman Enterprises would be controversial. The minutes of that meeting note that the village’s chief administrator cautioned council “to consider any political ramifications before they make their decision.”

Contact John Thompson at

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

Just Posted

Yukon RCMP are making an appeal for information in the case of Mary Ann Ollie, who was murdered in Ross River last year and whose case remains unsolved. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read