Jim Kenyon won’t explain his own words.
The Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek North refuses to clarify a comment he made in the legislature last week about the ATCO scandal.
Breaking three months of silence on the matter, Kenyon denied having threatened to resign from cabinet when he discovered that Premier Dennis Fentie was considering the privatization of Yukon Energy.
“It did not happen. It was referred to in the media at a location we weren’t even in. None of it is true,” Kenyon said November 2.
This contradicts a version of events agreed upon by several former members of Yukon Energy’s board, as well as by Brad Cathers, who quit his job as Energy minister in August to protest Fentie’s handling of the ATCO scandal.
They all say Kenyon, who was at the time minister responsible for the public utility, was blindsided to learn of the ATCO talks in December of last year.
Kenyon became upset, having discovered that Fentie had issued orders behind his back, and threatened to resign, according to the board members and Cathers. All have all agreed to say as much under oath.
But Kenyon never did quit, and several months later, Fentie took over the Yukon Energy portfolio.
Kenyon stayed home sick this week. When asked by telephone to clarify his remark, he said, “I’d rather not talk about that,” and hung up.
His statement angers Greg Hakonson, one of four Yukon Energy directors to resign over the ATCO affair in June.
“He’s calling us liars,” he said.
It appears incontestable that a meeting did occur in December between Kenyon, Fentie, Cathers, the Yukon Energy board and others. The meeting is included in a timeline of events for the ATCO discussions, prepared by the Department of Energy and released this week.
But Kenyon could be quibbling over the date. It was initially reported the meeting occurred on December 8. Board members now agree the meeting was held one day later.
Energy officials, meanwhile, put the meeting at December 10 in their timeline.
“It’s immaterial whether it was the 8th or the 9th or the 10th,” said Hakonson. “The fact is that it happened.”
Kenyon also appears to contest the location of the meeting, which board members and Energy officials agree occurred in the cabinet meeting room.
This splitting of hairs doesn’t fool anyone, said Willard Phelps, Yukon Energy’s former chair.
“It’s a bit silly,” he said.
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