Former Yukon commissioner Jack Cable remembered as 'man of so many talents'

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Former Yukon commissioner Jack Cable with his wife Fay last year, when he was awarded the Order of Yukon. Cable died last week at age 86. (Office of the Commissioner of Yukon - image credit)
Former Yukon commissioner Jack Cable with his wife Fay last year, when he was awarded the Order of Yukon. Cable died last week at age 86. (Office of the Commissioner of Yukon - image credit)

Former Yukon commissioner Jack Cable could fool you if you didn't know better, his friend Ron Veale says.

"He was just the kind of guy that he was never what you see. You'd walk in and you'd say, well, 'this guy is just a lawyer,'" said Veale, retired chief justice of the Yukon Supreme Court.

"Jack Cable was never just a lawyer. He was a very much a leader in the community, and in a wide variety of areas."

Cable, a politician, farmer, engineer, chamber of commerce president and former Yukon commissioner, died last week at age 86.

He was originally from Ontario, where he studied engineering before earning a law degree and moving to Yukon. In the early 1970s, he and Veale — another former Ontarian — had taken over a local law firm.

Cable practiced law for two decades before shifting focus to politics.

"He was a very good lawyer, passionate lawyer, and loved the job. And when suddenly he said, 'I'm going to go and do other things,' you would say, 'well, gee, that's great, Jack,'" Veale recalled.

"He was courageous in that sense … He was your classic Renaissance man."

Office of the Commissioner of Yukon
Office of the Commissioner of Yukon

Cable was elected MLA for Riverside in 1992 and again in 1996. He also served as interim Liberal leader.

In 2000, he was appointed commissioner of Yukon, and held the post until 2005.

'Remarkable' contributions, premier says

He also served as president of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, president of the Yukon Energy Corporation, and director of the Yukon Science Institute. He was also a member of the Learning Disabilities Association of the Yukon, and the Association of Professional Engineers of the Yukon.

"Mr. Cable's illustrious career, dedicated volunteer work, and political contributions are remarkable," Yukon Premier Sandy Silver wrote on Facebook.

"We both shared the title of leader of the Liberal Party and Jack was always generous with me, sharing his time, experience, humour and friendship."

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell also remembered Cable as a close friend and advisor, and the person who asked him to become involved in politics.

"He will be sorely missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him," said Bagnell in a statement.

Office of the Commissioner of Yukon
Office of the Commissioner of Yukon

Veale said one of Cable's great strengths was that he avoided conflict and was an effective mediator. He remembered how Cable was an early champion of recycling, and wind energy in Whitehorse.

"We lost a man of so many talents," Veale said.

"You know, it just goes on and on when you start peeling back the layers of Jack Cable."

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