Shakeup sends YECL head packing

Jerome Babyn, former general manager of ATCO-owned Yukon Electrical Company Limited, has been transferred to the energy giant’s Edmonton office.

ATCO has replaced the head of the Yukon’s second-largest energy company after a short three-year stint.

Jerome Babyn, former general manager of ATCO-owned Yukon Electrical Company Limited, has been transferred to the energy giant’s Edmonton office.

His replacement is Dwight Redden, a 25-year ATCO veteran who began his career with the company as a civil engineer. An interview with Redden was not possible before press time.

Babyn ends a controversial tenure as the head of Yukon Electrical, which for the most part distributes power provided by the Yukon’s public utility, Yukon Energy.

Premier Dennis Fentie was in secret negotiations last year to merge the private and public utilities. A small cabal of loyal public servants was dispatched to negotiate the deal with ATCO executives in Calgary. Fentie kept the talks secret from cabinet and Yukon Energy’s board of directors, sparking a mass resignation led by former chair Willard Phelps.

When the talks were revealed in June 2009, Babyn confessed the mother corporation was working closely with Yukon.

“I think it makes a whole lot of sense to work together,” said Babyn at the time. “I think we can gain some efficiencies. I think we can manage the way we provide service more efficiently.”

“It’s been sort of an ongoing thing,” he said. “You have ongoing discussion at every level. That’s all I can really say.”

Brad Cathers resigned his post as minister of Energy, Mines and Resources following the scandal, alleging Fentie lied to the public about the talks and pressured him to do the same. He remains an independent MLA.

Babyn was asked to leave his post, said Jay Massie, a spokesperson for Yukon Electrical.

“I guess they asked him if he was ready to move on and I guess he was,” he said.

“They kind of go where they’re needed kind of thing. Nothing any too particular other than that.”

Babyn’s home number was disconnected Monday. He left town over the weekend, said Massie.

Babyn has been chair of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce since June 2009. He has been replaced by Andy Stouffer, an executive with Northwestel.

Yukon Electrical is a subsidiary of Calgary-based ATCO, which owns power plants, pipelines and energy structures around the world.

The head of Yukon Electrical is also general manager of Northland Utilities, the company responsible for ATCO’s assets in the Northwest Territories.

Contact James Munson at jamesm@yukon-news.com

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