Morrison speaks, Kenyon sleeps

While the legislature probed Jim Kenyon's integrity during last year's ATCO scandal Monday, Kenyon was slumped in his chair, asleep.

While the legislature probed Jim Kenyon’s integrity during last year’s ATCO scandal Monday, Kenyon was slumped in his chair, asleep.

The legislature grew tense as Liberal MLA Gary McRobb grilled Yukon Energy president David Morrison about Kenyon’s alleged resignation during a meeting in December 2008. Kenyon, who was Yukon Energy minister at the time, reputedly resigned at the meeting after he was informed Premier Dennis Fentie had been hiding secret privatization talks from him.

A red-faced Morrison, who was appearing in the legislature in an annual question-and-answer session for MLAs, glanced toward Kenyon before replying.

“I think the best way to answer that question is to have that individual indicate what he said during that meeting,” said Morrison. “I’m really uncomfortable talking about what other people said in a meeting.”

But Kenyon, of course, couldn’t answer the question. His chair was reclined behind his front-row desk on the government benches, his head tilted to the right toward the visitors’ gallery, his eyes closed.

Education Minister Patrick Rouble sat beside the dozing Kenyon. He could have woken up his cabinet colleague. Instead he let the older minister snooze.

It wasn’t the only question Kenyon may have been interested to hear. McRobb took Morrison’s appearance as an opportunity to probe still-unanswered questions surrounding the ATCO scandal, like who knew what Fentie was up to and when.

Was Morrison aware Fentie went to ATCO in search of money for the Mayo B energy project in mid-2008, a claim made by former Yukon Energy chair Willard Phelps? asked McRobb.

“I can’t confirm or deny it,” said Morrison.

Did he know that Fentie was bragging about making a deal with ATCO behind the backs of his cabinet and the minister in charge, another of Phelps’s claims?

“I can’t confirm or deny,” he said.

And then came questions about that fateful meeting between Phelps, Kenyon, Morrison, former Energy, Mines and Resources minister Brad Cathers and former Yukon Energy board member Paul Hunter in December 2008.

Both Phelps, Hunter and Cathers have stated Kenyon was surprised Fentie was going over his head and negotiating a deal for ATCO to invest in Yukon Energy. They’ve all said Kenyon stated he would resign.

Morrison was more coy.

“During that meeting, there were discussions about the ATCO issue going forward and there was an expression by the former minister that he was concerned about some of those discussions,” said Morrison, referring to Kenyon. “I think that would be a fair way to characterize it.”

He refused to answer if Kenyon had resigned or not.

Kenyon has only broken his silence over the meeting once last fall. He told the legislature on November 2 that the meeting’s location, cited by others, was wrong, and that “None of it is true.”

Kenyon has refused several requests to clarify his comments.

He refused comment again yesterday.

Kenyon had already addressed the issue, said cabinet spokesperson Emily Younker.

Contact James Munson at

jamesm@yukon-news.com.

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