First Nations

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Oct 31  Comment

Guy Morgan is retiring after a lifetime with Yukon Energy Corporation

Guy Morgan, Vice President of Operations, is retiring after a lifetime with Yukon Energy Corporation. His qualifications did not come the academic school way but the Old School way — literally from the ground up. They had a humble origin with Yukon Electrical Company in 1984.  “I was an 18-year-old student looking for a summer job. When they first saw me, the foreman said ‘Oh, a big one, come with me, genius.’ He put a shovel in my hand and threw me into the back of a truck.” He stayed on for a couple of years, working on a line crew. He left to attend college in Victoria to begin an electrical apprenticeship program. Those studies were interrupted by a job with Yukon Energy Corporation.  “That summer, I was cutting lawns, mopping floors and pulling trash out of the trash racks. By fall, I was working as a diesel operator. I put the electrician plans on hold again when I moved into the Control Centre. A few years later, I was a low-level supervisor.”  Along the way, Guy received a well-rounded education on how Yukon Energy generates and distributes electricity. “I learned that power doesn’t just come out of a hole in the wall without a lot of infrastructure and a whole group of really dedicated people working as a team to put it there.” Guy’s career was on a steady upward trajectory, as he progressed to overall supervisor for the Control Centre, Manager of the Mechanical group, to co-Director, to Director and finally VP.  “And that’s how I spent 35 years.” He’s seen a lot of changes in that time, including the integration of the Mayo and Whitehorse grids and the focus on reducing diesel generation and prioritizing renewable energy. Some of the biggest operational changes came from technology, equipment, and automation. “I’ve toured other control centres and can say that we are equal to or a bit more advanced than most. One of the reasons for that is we’re a huge geographic area with only 100 or so employees. We automate as much as possible, so we don’t have to physically send people all over to check or adjust things.” One of his proudest achievements was the response to the fire in 1997 that took out the Control Centre. “The building was destroyed, but we moved the control Centre into a truck, then into a bathroom then a trailer. We survived without a single outage. That’s down to our quick-thinking team who managed everything manually when the computer went down. We do good damage control here and have good processes and systems in place.” It’s that team and the teamwork itself that he’s most sorry to leave. “Not gonna lie, I’ll miss the people — I can’t say enough about the quality of the staff here. I don’t buy into that whole younger generation negativity either. We’ve got a lot of younger staff and I see a group of very curious, skilled, and dedicated people. We’re much like a family here and we want to see our people grow, progress, take responsibility. It doesn’t take much to say ‘you did good’ and pass on new opportunities to them.”  That pretty much encapsulates the advice he’d give to anyone following in his footsteps: “Delegate. Give people the ability to make decisions and let them grow. Work yourself out of a job.” Reflecting on what he might have done differently, he says he “probably would’ve got that trades ticket, just to say I did it. But seriously, it all kind of worked out in the end for me. No regrets, good friends. Now I need to get out of the way for new guys.” What about his plans for retirement?   “I’m going to Aruba for a month with my wife, and we’ll figure it out from there. Maybe they’ve got a small, isolated grid that needs help…”  

News, Media Releases
Jul 25  Comment

Joint Agreements Commit to Better Future for Äshèyi

Dakwäkäda/Haines Junction, Yukon – Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN), the Government of Yukon (Yukon), and Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC) have reached historic agreements for a better future for Äshèyi (Aishihik). The new agreements for a collaborative approach to operation of the Aishihik Generating Station (AGS or dam) were signed Thursday, July 21, during the CAFN General Assembly at Takhini River Subdivision.  “Fifty years since the construction of the Aishihik Generating Station, we are at a major turning point as we sign these agreements. These agreements are built through CAFN asserting Dän K’e – our way. We have built a new collaborative relationship with the Government of Yukon (Yukon), and we have a new path to reduce the impacts by working with Yukon Energy Corporation. We understand the dam is vital to power the Yukon, and we know that together we can do much better to reduce its harms to CAFN lands, water and people. Today we start a new path forward together to stop the harms and begin to restore Äshèyi. The path to true reconciliation and healing is going to be a long one. While this first step is a good indication we’re on that path, it’s only the first step.”  Kaaxnox, Dän Nätthe Äda (Chief Steve Smith)  “The Yukon government is committed to strong Government-to-Government relationships that foster reconciliation and we are pleased to forge a new collaborative partnership with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and the Yukon Energy Corporation. Renewable energy is essential to address climate change and meet the Yukon’s clean energy targets set out in Our Clean Future. These agreements establish a shared path forward for the long-term operation of the Aishihik Generating Station so that all Yukoners can continue to rely on this renewable energy source.”  Yukon Premier Sandy Silver  “The Aishihik Generating Station is critical to delivering the energy that Yukon needs today and tomorrow. These agreements chart a path for Yukon Energy, the Yukon government and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations to work together in a manner that respects the interests of the people whose traditional territories and land the facility is located, to maintain the benefits of renewable energy produced by the facility, while minimizing the impacts that come with generating that energy. The work that has gone into developing these agreements has shown us all that long term solutions and improvements to processes require strong relationships built on respect. The result will be a brighter and more successful future for all Yukon people.”  Lesley Cabott, Chair, Yukon Energy Board of Directors  BACKGROUND/KEY FACTS:  CAFN, Yukon and YEC have carried out a long and thorough process to reach these agreements, and they are founded on years of input and guidance from CAFN Citizens. The Accord and Agreements are a commitment to a renewed relationship and a shared path forward regarding the long-term operation of the AGS and stewardship of Äshèyi.  The Parties recognize the strong foundation provided by the CAFN Final Agreement and Self-government Agreement and the assessment and licensing processes created through those Agreements. The Parties are committed to working collaboratively and in partnership through these processes and over the long-term operation of the AGS.  Accord  The government-to-government Accord is CAFN and Yukon’s commitment to collaborate on shared priorities for the AGS and Äshèyi. The Accord establishes a long-term relationship supported by a combination of bilateral and trilateral Agreements between CAFN, Yukon and YEC. The Accord identifies Senior Officials from both governments who are responsible for the implementation of the Accord and Agreement. These Senior Officials will provide updates and information back to their respective organizations.  Agreements  CAFN, YG and YEC have created a number of Agreements to guide their relationship regarding the long-term operation of the AGS and bring effect to reconciliation through the implementation of shared priorities. The Parties have identified opportunities for community development, promoting the practice of traditions in and celebrating the cultural history of Äshèyi, focusing on stewardship in the area through research and monitoring, and supporting energy planning and improving energy efficient infrastructure. All these priorities will be realized through working together in collaboration and partnership.  History  Äshèyi Män (Aishihik Lake) is in the CAFN Traditional Territory in the Yukon. For thousands of years CAFN dän (people) have lived at Äshèyi in areas including Äshèyi village, Chemi and The Yanlin (Canyon). Äshèyi remains of great importance to CAFN dän connection to the land, water, culture and heritage.  Aishihik Generating Station  The AGS is located at the south end of Äshèyi Män, about 110 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse, and has provided electricity to Yukoners since 1975. It is a significant power source for the Yukon’s energy system. The facility is capable of producing 37 megawatts of power, and is critical in meeting peak winter demand.  Over the course of its operations, the AGS has undergone a number of assessment and licensing processes. Most recently, YEC is seeking a 5-year licence to maintain its operations. These processes provide for broad involvement and CAFN dän have actively participated through sharing valuable knowledge and information. The strong relationship foundation created by the Accord and Agreements will guide the Parties over the long-term operation of the AGS, inclusive of any future licensing processes and licence implementation.  CAFN Citizens have participated in every AGS icensing process since the very first Yukon Water Board hearing in 1972.  For more information:  cafn.ca/asheyi  Contacts: Amy McKinnon  Strategic Communications Manager  Champagne and Aishihik First Nations  (867) 332-1973  almckinnon@cafn.ca  Rachel Veinott-McKeough  Strategic Communications Advisor  Government of Yukon  (780) 916-6995  Rachel.veinott-mckeough@yukon.ca  Jenna Henderson  Communications Officer  Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (867) 334-6264  jhenderson@cafn.ca  Megan Yakiwchuk  Corporate Secretary  Yukon Energy Corporation  (867) 393-5337  megan.yakiwchuk@yec.yk.ca 

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