Whitehorse Daily Star

Politicians fondly recall ‘Gentleman Jack’

Currie Dixon, the leader of the Yukon Party, was quick to pay tribute to Jack Cable on Thursday morning.

By Tim Giilck on July 23, 2021

Currie Dixon, the leader of the Yukon Party, was quick to pay tribute to Jack Cable on Thursday morning. The longtime Liberal politician and former Commissioner died Wednesday.

“My colleagues and I are saddened to hear of the passing of former Yukon Liberal Party leader Jack Cable,” Dixon said.

“Known as ‘Gentleman Jack,’ he was respected by members of all parties during his tenure as a member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly for Riverside from 1992 to 2000.

“His conduct and demeanor in the assembly were a reminder of what we should aspire to and enabled him to work constructively with others,” Dixon added.

“Upon his retirement, he continued to serve Yukoners as the commissioner of the Yukon from 2000 to 2005.”

As a volunteer in the Yukon community, he added, Cable served on numerous NGO boards. Those include the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, the Learning Disabilities Association of the Yukon, the Association of Professional Engineers and the Law Society of Yukon.

“On behalf of the Yukon Party family, I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” Dixon said.

NDP Leader Kate White said “we are saddened by the passing of Jack Cable. He served this territory for most of his life as an MLA, a commissioner of the Yukon and through the many community endeavours and organizations he was part of.

“His commitment to our community had a positive impact on many people. We would like to extend our condolences to his family and friends.”

Contacted by the Star Thursday, Tony Penikett, the NDP premier from 1985 to 1992, said from Vancouver he is “so sorry to hear of Jack Cable’s passing.”

He appointed Cable to the presidency of the Yukon Energy Corp. 30 years ago.

“We knew each from the early ’70s and always got along well,” Penikett told the Star.

“While our legislative careers did not overlap, over the years we had many enjoyable coffee conversations about politics in which his intelligence and good humour were always evident.

“A truly liberal Liberal, Jack even attended the founding convention of the Yukon NDP in 1973,” Penikett recalled.

“Along with many others, I shall miss Jack and remember him fondly. He was one of the good guys!”

Jim McLachlan, who, like Cable, once sat as the only Liberal MLA, said he liked the late politician from the first day he met him.

“He was an absolute first-class individual in every respect, whether dealing with legal issues, political foresight or difficult matters with Yukon Energy Corporation,” McLachlan told the Star from Faro.

“Yukon is sadder today for its loss.”

As the YEC’s president, Cable oversaw the purchase of a massive generator for Faro from the fire sale of Cassiar Asbestos assets when that company went out of business in 1992-1993, McLachlan recalled.

“That generator was the primary backup diesel generator for Faro for years before the corporation installed more backup units this past summer.”

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell said he “was saddened to learn of the passing of the former commissioner of Yukon, and my close friend, Jack Cable.

“ ... Jack spent decades making the Yukon the territory we know and love,” Bagnell said.

“On a personal note, Jack was a longtime advisor and friend, and the person who asked me to become involved in politics,” said Bagnell, who was first elected in 2000.

“He will be sorely missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. His impact on the community during his lifetime of public service is immeasurable.”

Premier Sandy Silver weighed in late Thursday afternoon on Cable’s death.

“Today, my colleagues and I were very sad to learn of the passing of former commissioner of the Yukon, Jack Cable,” Silver said.

“He was a mentor to me and several other MLAs and was known for his depth of knowledge, compassionate approach and strong leadership.

“Outside of politics, Jack was a respected engineer and lawyer,” the premier noted.

“He gave back to the community through countless volunteer initiatives that have enriched our territory’s social fabric.

“In 2020, Jack become one of the inaugural inductees to the Order of Yukon in recognition of his immense contributions to the development of the territory,” Silver noted.

“He will always be fondly remembered and he will be dearly missed.”

– With files from Jim Butler

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