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The Whitehorse Star, January 2, 1980

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star, 1980-1989

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

Explorer's Guides to Yukon Communities



  • January 4, 1980: Jack and Mary Nichols are originally selected as Mr. and Mrs. Yukon. After Jack Nichols died in Carcross at the age of 78 on January 13, Mary Nichols declined to keep the title.

  • January 15, 1980: The City Council unveils plans for a new access road to the Porter Creek subdivision to be completed within 2 years.

  • January 16, 1980: Jack and Mary McDiarmid of Mayo are selected as the new Mr. and Mrs. Yukon.

  • January 20, 1980: Abram Heinrichs, 44, man is dead and his partner Neil Davies, 29, is in serious condition in Whitehorse following a mining accident in Elsa yesterday. The men were drilling rock bolt holes to secure an overhanging wall in United Keno Hill's Husky mine wien rock from the vein fell on them.

  • January 21, 1980: Liberal leader Pierre Trudeau visits Whitehorse in support of Yukon candidate Ione Christensen.

  • January 23, 1980: The price of gold reaches an all-time high of $850 (US) resulting in a minor staking rush in the Klondike region.

  • January 25, 1980: The Star is looking for correspondents in a number of Yukon communities. If interested, write Jim Beebe, Editor.

  • January 28, 1980: The Whitehorse Credit Union closes its doors after 22 years in business. Increasing difficulties in meeting its operating costs are behind the closure.

  • January 29, 1980: Three new classifications are suggested by the territorial government as one way of avoiding political problems in Yukon communities. The paper suggests Yukon communities be divided into cities, towns and villages with an additional classification of hamlet for communities not capable of assuming village status.

  • January 31, 1980: Old Crow elder Joe Netro - receiver of the Centennial Award - dies at the age of 86.
  • January 31, 1980: Studies show Whitehorse remains the most expensive place to live in Canada.


  • February 4, 1980: The fourth generator to the Whitehorse hydro-electric dam has been approved.

  • February 15, 1980: The Alaskan natural gas pipeline is in the news throughout the year. Foothill Pipe Line starts its largest soil test drill programm in August (August 11, 1980). Financial support, environmental reasons and effects on the job market are debated by the U.S. administration, the Yukon government and the B.C. government.

  • February 19, 1980: Erik Nielsen is elected the Yukon MP for the 11th time straight, beating Liberal Ione Christensen. First results have Nielsen barely winning by 61 votes. The final count reveals a margin of 101 votes.

  • February 25, 1980: Roxanne Nielsen - Erik Nielsen's daughter - becomes the first Yukon female to graduate from the RCMP Academy in Regina.
  • February 25, 1980: The Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, built in 1905, burns down.
  • February 25, 1980: Roxanne Nielsen, 24, recently became the first Yukon female to graduate from the RCMP Academy in Regina as a fully-qualified constable. Cst. Nielsen is the daughter of Yukon MP Erik Nielsen. Her first posting was to Stoney Plains, Alberta.


  • March 3, 1980: Rolf Hougen unveils his plans for a northern TV satellite system. His proposal is to rent a transponder on the ANIK A3 satellite and beam a mixed program from four TV stations to all of Canada, but particularly aimed at northern service.
  • March 3, 1980: John Munro is named the federal minister for Indian affairs and nothern development in the new Trudeau cabinet. He visits the territory for the first time on March 28.

  • March 4, 1980: High silver prices help Keno to open new property in the Elsa area.
  • March 4, 1980: Rural mail delivery in Whitehorse begins for the first time.

  • March 6, 1980: An area 30 miles north of Old Crow may join the list of cultural historical sites of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

  • March 17, 1980: Opening of the Artic Winter Games in Whitehorse: the Games see two world records in Arctic Sports and a food poisoning incident that sends 40 people to hospital.
  • March 17, 1980: Northward Airlines goes bankrupt.

  • March 26, 1980: The Western National Party plans a referendum on the Yukon's indepence for late summer.


  • April 2, 1980: Art Fry of Dawson City receives the Lifestyle Award for his work with the Yukon Boxing Association and promoting fitness among amateur athletes in the territory.
  • April 2, 1980: The Captain Martin house - Whitehorse's oldest frame building - is offered to the city for $1 for restoration as a historic site.

  • April 7, 1980: Peter Jenkinsis is elected mayor of Dawson City.
  • April 7, 1980: An earthquake, registering 5.2 on the Richter scale, shakes the city of Anchorage.

  • April 8, 1980: United Keno Hill approves the re-opening of the Venus gold-silver mine near Carcross.

  • April 9, 1980: Yukon MP Erik Nielsen is appointed deputy opposition house leader and chairman of the question period committee for the federal Conservative caucus.
  • April 9, 1980: A new Hudson's Bay Company store opens at Fourth and Ogilvie this morning.

  • April 10, 1980: It is revealed that the RCMP intercepted in 1979 a telephone call between a Justice Minister Doug Graham and Whitehorse Businessman Barry Bellchamber who is later fined $50,000 and sentenced to 1 day in jail for defrauding the Yukon government and members of the public.

  • April 24, 1980: A plan for a pedestrian mall on Main Street was voted down by the Downtown Businessmen's Association.

  • April 25, 1980: The Yukon is the last province/territory in Canada to join daylight saving time.

  • April 30, 1980: American ambassador to Canada, Ken Curtis, visits the territories.


  • May 8, 1980: The sternwheeler Aksala at Paddlewheel Village on the Alaska Highway is pulled down as the rickety structure was too dangerous to be left standing.

  • May 13, 1980: Swede Hanson, minister for renewable resources, tourism and economic development, resignes from the Yukon cabinet after controversy over hunting by Indian people in Kluane. Hanson is replaced by Dan Lang.

  • May 15, 1980: ATCO Ltd. offers to buy out the U.S. portion of Yukon Electrical ownership.
  • May 15, 1980: The election of officials for the new Council for Yukon Indians, an umbrella group, is held with Dave Porter, Joe Jack, Elijah Smith and Judy Gingell elected.

  • May 29, 1980: The Yukon and NWT send out an request to prime minister Pierre Trudeau to include the two territories in the upcoming talks on the Canadian constitution.


  • June 2, 1980: Indian Affairs Minister John Munro announces that native Indians will have self-government within 2 years.

  • June 3, 1980: Cyprus Anvil announces a $240 million expansion. Such expansion could add 8 years to the life of the Faro operation.

  • June 10, 1980: It is revealed that there will be no elected northern representative at future talks on Canada's constitution.

  • June 16, 1980: Giovanni Castellarin is the first person to be awarded the Commissioner's Award for outstanding community work.
  • June 16, 1980: The first talks over Yukon native land claims under the new federal government start in Vancouver.


  • July 3, 1980: A small earthquake, measuring 4.3 on Richter Scale, shakes the southern Yukon area. No injuries or damages were reported.

  • July 11, 1980: Sandy and Mary Taylor of Beaver Creek are honored with first-level commissioner's awards for outstanding community achievement.

  • July 14, 1980: Governor-General Ed Schreyer visits Whitehorse, including a visit to the MacBride Museum.


  • August 4, 1980: Canada and the United States jointly accept the UNESCO World Heritage plaque at Kluane National Park. The Kluane-Wrangell-St.Ellias wilderness is the first joint international World Heritage Site. The Kluane Park limited access plan is approved at the same time.

  • August 7, 1980: The Columbia Gas System Inc. find in southeast Yukon a gas field that yields a daily flow of 50 to 70 million cubic feet of gas daily.

  • August 11, 1980: Anvil begins in Faro a $240 million conversion of the mill and expansion of the town to handle new ore deposit.

  • August 19, 1980: Jim Murdoch, Whitehorse humorist, writer, entertainer and founder of the Frantic Follies, drowns in Atlin Lake.
  • August 19, 1980: About 200 guests were at Black Mike's gold mine in their turn-of-the-century finest to watch owner Mike Laforet wed Britt-Marie Lievestad yesterday.


  • September 11, 1980: Workers at the United Keno Hill lead-silver mine in Elsa go on strike.
  • September 11, 1980: Tintina Mines Ltd. outlines the biggest molybdenum deposit in North America 80km from Whitehorse.

  • September 12, 1980: The Yukon and the Northwest Territories are excluded from constitutional talks at the first ministers' conference. The exclusion prompts protest from Yukon government leader Chris Pearson. The next day Pearson is invited to attend the conference as an observer but refuses.


  • October 8, 1980: United Keno Hill Mines Ltd. starts works on the mill for the Venus mine south of Carcross.

  • October 9, 1980: Mayo becomes fourth Yukon community to ban public drinking. Others are Whitehorse, Dawson City and Teslin.

  • October 18, 1980: John Livesey of Beaver Creek and Brynmor Mills of Elsa are recipients of the Commissioner's Award for their individual effort, contributions and participation in their communities.

  • October 21, 1980: Finning Tractor announces a $1 million expansion of its facilities in Whitehorse.


  • November 4, 1980: It takes time to fill a day care centre despite the apparent need for such facilities in the Yukon. The Church of the Nazarene Day Care Centre in Porter Creek opened yesterday with only one child. "We had one child yesterday, we have two today, tomorrow we may have three," says Rev. Larry Daiby, who "opened because of the need."
  • November 4, 1980: As part of YTG's review of their big game outfitters' policies, the transfer of big game licences has been frozen. According to Renewable Resources Minister Dan Lang, there are "indications that some big game outfitting licences are being sold and transferred for large sums of money."


  • December 3, 1980: A joint application for licences to establish a northern broadcasting network has been filed with the CRTC by two groups representing Yukon and NWT native Indians.

  • December 5, 1980: A joint government-industry task force is being created to plan and co-ordinate mining development in the Macmillan-Howard's Pass area on the Yukon-NWT border.

  • December 16, 1980: The Captain Martin house is moved from Wood Street to the city works compound until it can settle on the riverbank as part of a planned future heritage village.

  • December 19, 1980: Gordon Cameron has been appointed a member of the Order in Canada.

  • December 23, 1980: Doug Bell is named the new Commissioner of the Yukon Territory, succeeding Ione Christensen, who resigned from this position in October 1979. In August, Terry Weninger refused the position.



  • January 6, 1981: A meteor shower seen in the Yukon in the beginning of the new year turns out to be a falling Russian rocket
  • January 6, 1981: Jack and Wilma Brewster of Haines Junction are named Mr. and Mrs. Yukon for 1981.

  • January 15, 1981: The Mayo Indian Band opens their own school. Although the school follows the B.C. curriculum, children are also taught extras such as how to make and use snowshoes, set traps and survive in the bush.


  • February 2, 1981: Justice Minister Doug Graham resign after discovering he is under investigation by the RCMP in connection with the Barry Bellchambers land fraud case. Graham is the fourth minister to resign since the Conservatives took office in November 1978.
  • February 2, 1981: The governments of the Yukon and the NWT will have working seats at future first ministers' conferences on the Canadian Constitution following passage of an amendment to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's package by former northern affairs minister Jake Epp.

  • February 16, 1981: The Northern Affairs Minister visits Whitehorse to announce among other things a $5 million capital loan to White Pass.

  • February 18, 1981: Fred Caley, 76, of Dawson City is the 4th person to be given the Dawson Museum and Historical Society's Yukon Heritage Award for his significant contribution to preserve Yukon history and culture.

  • February 23, 1981: The Whitehorse Indian Band votes 96 per cent in favor of moving their village to a site on the east side of the Yukon River.
  • February 23, 1981: Vic and Katie Johnson receive the Commissioner's Award for their 27 years of caring for more than 200 foster children


  • March 6, 1981: The new Reagan administration cuts back the (financial) support for the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline. The target date for the start-up is now been delayed for another year from 1985 to 1986.

  • March 10, 1981: A site in Takhini is chosen as the preferred location for the new Yukon College.

  • March 18, 1981: The North American cross country ski championships open in Whitehorse.

  • March 25, 1981: Conservative MLA Jack Hibberd resigns from his position as Renewable Resources minister.

  • March 26, 1981: Francis Joseph Henning, the 1st boy born in Atlin, dies at the age of 81.

  • March 30, 1981: The world's largest weathervane, DC-3 CF-CPY, is raised onto a pedestal in front of Whitehorse airport.


  • April 2, 1981: The Farrago - the music festival in Faro - is cancelled due to Cyprus Anvil's tight budget.

  • April 3, 1981: Long-time Yukon miner Pete Brady dies at the age of 91.
  • April 3, 1981: A "Yukon embassy" is established in Ottawa. The intergovernmental relations office is expected to cost $176,000 to operate this year.

  • April 6, 1981: Jean Munro, minister of Indian Affairs and Norther Development, opens regional offices in Whitehorse and Yellowknife.

  • April 10, 1981: A Dawson placer company commissions the world's biggest sluice box, which moves 1,000 cubic metres of gravel at a time.

  • April 13, 1981: MLA Tony Penikett is appointed the leader of the Yukon New Democratic Party by acclamation. On July 6 he is elected national party president.

  • April 27, 1981: Pacific Western Airlines (PWA) began scheduled service between Whitehorse and Edmonton yesterday, using a combi (freight and passenger) Boeing 737.
  • April 27, 1981: Another attempt to end the eight-month-old strike at the Keno Hill mine has failed.


  • May 8, 1981: Frederick Regional Boss, the last hereditary chief of the Lake Laberge Indian band, dies at the age of 81.

  • May 15, 1981: The six-month strike at the Canada Tungsten Mine at Tungsten, NWT, is over.

  • May 27, 1981: 63 per cent of the shares of Cyprus Anvil Mining Corp are bought by Hudons's Bay Oil and Gas Company Ltd. The sale means Dome Petroleum will indirectly control Anvil since it owns 53 per cent of Hudbay. The sale was made necessary when Anvil's U.S. parent could not get approval from the Canadian government to own the mine.
  • May 27, 1981: Property owners along the Alaska Highway are being asked by Whitehorse City Council for their opinions on a proposed green belt corridor along the road. The city is concerned with both the aesthetic values of the highway and its use as a major transportation route. The large number of access roads leading off the 37 km of highway that run through the city slow down increased traffic volumes and pose safety problems.

  • May 28, 1981:Frank Coulter, the Yukon's oldest man, passes away at the age of 104.


  • June 6, 1981: Roland ("Jack") Hulland, for whom the Porter Creek school is named, dies at the age of 85. Hulland came to Whitehorse in 1930 to be the principal of the town's only public school. Later, Hulland had become YTG superintendent of education.

  • June 15, 1981: At the official opening this weekend of the three-story log pyramid which is to be the teaching centre of the Atlin Holistic Society Health Centre, its Whitehorse sponsor, Dr. Don Branigan, told his guests of his belief that the positive aspect of health should be stressed. Holistic medicine means well being of the body, the mind and the spirit.

  • June 30, 1981: A local amateur historian will officiate at tomorrow's ceremonies for the dedication of the S.S. Klondike riverboat as a national historic site. Jean Harbottle is a long-time Yukoner recently appointed to the national board for historic sites and monuments.
  • June 30, 1981: The Teslinburger has been chosen as the best hamburger in Canada. It is served at the North Lake Motel in Teslin, now known as the Mile 804 Motel and Cafe since it changed ownership in April.
  • June 30, 1981: Two bear traps have been set up at the Kopper King Trailer Court to catch a small black bear seen near the children's playground Sunday. Thirty bears were relocated or shot in the Whitehorse and Tagish area last year.


  • July 14, 1981: A FM radio demonstration station (which will later be CHON-FM) is set up by the Yukon Indian Centre.
  • July 14, 1981: Lance Iain McCowan, 42, of Whitehorse, died on July 9th after a short illness. He had flown with the RCAF for 2 years before returning to Whitehorse.


  • August 20, 1981: Marsh Lake residents battle flooding and the highest water levels in 10 years.

  • August 26, 1981: Victoria Faulkner dies at the age of 84.


  • September 9, 1981: YTG says it will keep the North Canol Road open for the winter and charge mining companies which will use it.

  • September 10, 1981: Yukon MP Erik Nielsen is named house leader for the Federal Conservative caucus.

  • September 11, 1981: Hollywood Star Dan Aykroyd visits Whitehorse for a week, looking for ideas for a new movie.


  • October 27, 1981: Not many people were willing to pay $25 to see Tammy Wynette in the F.H. Collins school gym, and the Faro show was cancelled because not enough people would pay $30.

  • October 29, 1981: United Keno Hill Mines Ltd. announces that the troubled Venus gold-silver mine project, 16km south of Carcross, has been cancelled due to low market prices and increased operating costs.


  • November 6, 1981: Prime Minister Trudeau and nine provinces agree on a constitution deleting the clause guaranteeing aboriginal rights.

  • November 25, 1981: A $170,000 plan is signed by YTG and the city for the beautification of Main Street

  • November 27, 1981: Yukon MP Erik Nielsen tries to introduce an amendment that would allow the territories to evolve into provinces, without consent of other provinces. Nielsen's amendment is supported by the Conservative and the NDP, but the Liberals defeat it in the final vote.


  • December 11, 1981: Yukon Indians will have a perpetual right to run traplines and to catch fish for food. That is the main point of land-claim agreements-in-principle on fishing and trapping.

  • December 17, 1981: Yukon commissioner Doug Bell cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the Guild Hall.

  • December 18, 1981: Flo Whyard is elected mayor.



  • January 7, 1982: Hudson Bay and Smelting Company Ltd. announces it will stop exploration and development on its Tom lead-zinc deposit in the Macmillan Pass in April.

  • January 8, 1982: In the beginning of 1982, the U.S. Congress officially stopped the Shakwak Highway project. On December 24, however, the U.S. Congress approves a bill which would allow the State of Alaska to re-start the Shakwak Highway project - if the state is still interested.

  • January 12, 1982: It is announced that Whitehorse radio station CKRW will become part of the Cancom satellite service and be available nation wide.
  • January 12, 1982: Ed and Irene Whitehouse are chosen as Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1982.
  • January 12, 1982: Plans for a $12 million hotel-office complex in downtown Whitehorse are called off because of the lagging economy. Territorial Gold Placer puts the lot up for sale but no one wants it.

  • January 15, 1982: Atomic Energy of Canada researchers are developing a small nuclear reactor for community heating in remote northern towns - to cut dependency on diesel.
  • January 15, 1982: Mining production, the key element in the Yukon economy, was down 37% in 1981.


  • February 3, 1982: A $1 million accident cripples operation at the Cassiar Resources asbestos mine in northern B.C. Friday, an 85-tonne truck went over an 50-metre embankment, slamming into the conveyor belt, destroying half of it and setting the rest afire. Trucks are used to carry ore to a crusher near the topof the pit. The conveyor belt carries the 4,500 tonnes a day of ore from the crusher to the buckets of a five-kilometre overhead bucket tramway that carries the ore to the mill.

  • February 4, 1982: Cyprus Anvil Mining Corporation decides to cut the size of its staff in Faro by 10% and eliminate its housing construction program. The United Keno Hill mine in Elsa and the Whitehorse Copper mine in Whitehorse announce hiring freezes the next day.

  • February 17, 1982: Eighty kilometres of the winter road into Old Crow has been completed since work started about Feb. 10. It is now drivable by pickups at about 50 kilometres an hour, but more work is needed before it will be suitable for large trucks. The road, approximately 250 km long, starts at Eagle Plains Lodge and will be used by trucks to haul in a $1.8 million prefabricated building to replace the Old Crow school that burned in December.
  • February 17, 1982: The White Pass company headquarters moves into the White Pass building in Whitehorse, which company president Tom King says is "the centre of our operations."


  • March 2, 1982: William John Bromley, captain of the S.S. Klondike for 7 years, dies at the age of 81.

  • March 3, 1982: One-third of the United Keno Hill Mine's Elsa workers are told they will loose their jobs in two weeks because the company lost nearly $13.7 million in 1981.

  • March 4, 1982: Bob Cousins receives the Commissioner's Award for his service club and charity work over several decades.
  • March 4, 1982: It was a successful year for Yukon cross-country skier Monique Waterreus. In March she receives the Comissioner's Award and wins the the overall NorAm championships in cross-country skiing. In November Waterreus becomes a member of the national cross-country ski team for the World Cup races (November 29).

  • March 15, 1982: The Northern Native Broadcasting Society receives a $239,000 grant to set up a satellite radio service for Yukon native communities. The start of the satellite service is delayed at the end of the year due to bureaucratical barriers (November 29).

  • March 16, 1982: The federal government announces a loan to the Northern Canada Power Commission of up to $58 million to start construction immediately on the 4th turbine at the Whitehorse Rapid Power plant.

  • March 24, 1982: Cyprus Anvil Mining Corporation announces it will shut down its lead-zinc-silver mine for 3 weeks during the summer.

  • March 30, 1982: Alan Innes-Taylor receives the first-level Commissioner's Award.


  • April 5, 1982: A Foothills Pipe Lines study suggests to lay the proposed gas line from Alaska under Kluane Lake. According to the study, this is the shortest and also the cheapest way.

  • April 13, 1982: Whitehorse radio station CKRW begins broadcasting on the FM dial, retaining its position on the AM band.

  • April 14, 1982: Whitehorse Copper mine announces its shutdown at the end of 1982.


  • May 3, 1982: The Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline has been delayed again with construction now planned to begin in 1986.

  • May 10, 1982: Coleen Emery of Whitehorse receives the highest level of Commissioner's Award for 17 years work with mentally retarded youths.

  • May 12, 1982: Lead, zinc, copper, gold and silver reached rock bottom on the world market, causing a difficult year for the Yukon's economy: Cyprus Anvil shuts down the lead-zinc in Faro, first for the summer (June 4), then until October (July 9), then until spring 1983 (September 8). In November it loses its most important customer, a Tokyo-based smelting firm (November 15). Watson Lake's largest employer Cattermole Timber Ltd. closes for the summer (May 12). United-Keno Hill shuts down its silver-lead mine in Elsa indefinitely by the end of July (June 28). At the end of the year Dome Petroleum announces it does not want to re-open the Cyprus Anvil mine in Faro (December 8). White Pass railway closes for the winter (September 16). The Whitehorse Copper mine closes for good at the end of the year (December 10). Anvil lays off close to 700 people and hundreds of other Yukoners lost jobs in related industries. 1982 also set a bankruptcy record.

  • May 13, 1982: A massive ice jam on the Klondike River near Dawson City closes the Klondike Highway and forces about 75 people from their homes.

  • May 31, 1982: For the first time since 1964, WP&YR's steam locomotive Number 73 makes a run to Carcross.
  • May 31, 1982: White Pass announces the layoff of over 100 employees as a result of the Cyprus Anvil shutdown.


  • June 1, 1982: A customer was stabbed to death early this morning in the all-night coffee shop of the Taku Hotel after he complained about his food. The Star has learned the man, in his early to mid-twenties, was stabbed once in the chest with a large butcher knife.
  • June 1, 1982: An Edmonton-based helicopter company with offices in Whitehorse has been closed down effective immediately. Shirley Air Services Ltd. went into receivership in March, and all the helicopters in Whitehorse were ferried out this weekend. Normally up to 20 machines were in service in the Yukon during the summer.
  • June 1, 1982: Three members of one Teslin family were found dead in their tent on Teslin Lake last night. Dead are Charlie Bob, 77, his wife Ida, 67, and their daughter Mary, 43. Carbon monoxide poisoning from the wood stove in their tent is thought to be the cause.

  • June 2, 1982: A second-degree murder charge has been laid against James Samuel Collins,30, following the stabbing yesterday morning of Claude Aube, 25, in the Taku Hotel coffee shop. Collins was arrested at 4 p.m. yesterday when he and his lawyer walked into RCMP headquarters.

  • June 8, 1982: The Conservative Party with Chris Pearson wins the territorial election.

  • June 15, 1982: Dawson's Downtown Hotel officially re-opens, replacing the one that burned down in 1980.

  • June 18, 1982: Dawson City sees its first armed robbery since 1902. The 1982 robbery took place at the Claim 33 souvenir shop on Bonanza creek.

  • June 21, 1982: Governor General Edward Schreyer visits Whitehorse to officiate at a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the Alaska Highway.


  • July 6, 1982: Princess Anne visits Whitehorse. She meets political figures and tours the MacBride Museum and the Old Log Church.

  • July 15, 1982: Atlin miner Ted Sandor finds a 28-ounce gold nugget.


  • August 2, 1982: The Yukon sees one of the worst fire seasons on record leading to the closure of the Alaska Highway between Watson Lake and Coal Creek, B.C. Read the entire article here.

  • August 27, 1982: The Anik D satellite used for Cancom services, is transported into space.


  • September 2, 1982: White River Johnny or "Little John" dies at the age of 98.
  • September 2, 1982: The Canada Custom Post in Beaver Creek moves out of the town center.

  • September 7, 1982: Whitehorse Copper mine offers some of its old mine diggings to the Yukon government as historical site.

  • September 17, 1982: The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, John Munro, visits the Territory.


  • October 1, 1982: The Council for Yukon Indians might spend some of its land claims money on salvaging the Cyprus Anvil Mining Corporation for the benefit of all Yukoners.

  • October 29, 1982: Porter Creek Junior High school opens.


  • November 1, 1982: An unoccupied area of the Hillcrest subdivision is suggested as a site for the new Kwanlin Dun village. The Indian group had previously approved a site across the Yukon river.

  • November 10, 1982: A new Atlin paper, the Atlin Claim, is issued. The monthly paper revives the name used by the town's first newspaper, an 1899 weekly started the year after the Atlin goldrush.

  • November 19, 1982: Gulf Canada Resources Inc. receives permission from the federal government to conduct seabed testing at Stokes Point and two other locations on the Yukon's Beaufort Sea cost.

  • November 26, 1982: The Yukon government spend at least $50,000 to kill wolves, including the use of poison. Wolves have reduced the number of moose to such a grave extent that the government considers cutrailing the moose hunting season.


  • December 3, 1982: Donald Sumanik Sr., the man who brought the cross-country World Cup to Whitehorse dies at the age of 45, probably of a heart attack.

  • December 10, 1982: Hougen's Ltd. announces it will close its department store in Faro on January 15, another victim of the uncertain future of the Cyprus Anvil mine.

  • December 15, 1982: Long-time Yukoner Alec Berry dies at the age of 86. He was the Mayo MLA from 1952 to 1955.

  • December 17, 1982: A major land claim subagreement is reached in Ottawa: Yukon Indians will get $183 million from the federal government over 20 years.

  • December 22, 1982: CP Air will reduce air service from Vancouver to Whitehorse from 9 flights a week to 7 starting January 10 because of the dismal state of the economy. Service to Watson Lake (from Vancouver or Edmonton) will be cut from 6 days a week to 4.
  • December 22, 1982: For the first time in many years, communities along the Alaska Highway north of Whitehorse will have their own physician. The Council for Yukon Indians said today that a Faro doctor, Larry Otto, has agreed to move to Haines Junction next March. The CYI said Otto's moving expenses are being paid by the Champagne-Aishihik band and the Kluane Tribal Council.
  • December 22, 1982: Canada Tungsten mine in Tungsten, NWT announces the mine will close indefinitely on January 21, 1983.



  • January 5, 1983: Land claim talks are another important issue in 1983. January 5, 1983 the public learns that the Yukon government has walked away from land claim talks in mid-December. The boycott is blamed by the Yukon government on the federal government's reluctance to deal with a number of issues: The cost of land-claims to the Yukon government, land for non-native Yukoners, and constitutional and legal issues. Later, federal and Yukon government reached agreement on major issues (March 31). The Old Crow Indian band is the first band to ratify the proposed land claim agreement (April 6).

  • January 14, 1983: Alan Innes-Taylor, an expert on arctic survival techniques and "one of the last great men of the North," dies in Whitehorse at the age of 82.

  • January 17, 1983: White Pass announces that the railway will remain shut through 1983 as a result of the continued closure of the Cyprus Anvil mine.
  • January 17, 1983: Massive copper and cobalt deposits are discovered on the Windy Craggy property between the Alsek and Tatshenshini Rivers in northern B.C. The original discovery was made in 1958.

  • January 21, 1983: The Tungsten mine (NWT) shuts down for at least 6 months.
  • January 21, 1983: Laurent Cyr and Corinne Cyr are selected as Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1983.


  • February 2, 1983: Yukon MP Erik Nielsen is chosen as the interim leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and Canada's new Opposition Leader. Nielsen's temporary post as Opposition leader comes to an end on June 10. On September 2, He is officially named deputy national leader of the Progressive Conservatives following Brian Mulroney's election as party leader on June 12th.

  • February 7, 1983: B.C. Placer Development Ltd. gives up its development plans for a $140 million mine near Atlin due to low prices for molybdenum.


  • March 2, 1983: Downtown businesses plan to turn downtown stores into mini shopping centre by building doors that connect the Taku Hotel, McFarlane Trading Co., Plantation Flower Shop, Hougen's Radio Shack and People's Drug Mart.
  • March 2, 1983: The federal government gives final approval to a Yukon route for the Alaska Highway gas pipeline, including the controversial Ibex Pass area. On October 14, the University of Alaska releases study results according to which the Alaska Highway gas pipeline will probably never be built.

  • March 11, 1983: Dome Petroleum Ltd. plans to spend $960 million on exploration in the Beaufort Sea.
  • March 11, 1983: After delays in 1982, the federal government gives final approval to a $40.3 million funding for native broadcasting in the North. Native radio stations in the Yukon get their first programming from the Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon Society in June 1983 (June 27).

  • March 21, 1983: Anglican deaconess Dr. Hilda Hellaby receives the Commissioner Award for her missionary work in the Yukon.

  • March 25, 1983: The Whitehorse Indian Band Kwanlin Dun chooses Hillcrest for relocation.
  • March 25, 1983: Yukon Vocational and Technical Training Centre and Yukon campus are merged to form Yukon College.


  • April 13, 1983: "Just Kidding", a children's show produced by Whitehorse youngsters and shown on WHTV wins a national award from the Children's Broadcast Institute in Toronto.

  • April 15, 1983: Dawson City loses another historic landmark as fire destroys the Midnight Sun Restaurant.

  • April 20, 1983: A $50 million aid package (split half and half by government and the mine) is announced for the Cyprus Anvil Mining Corporation. It puts a third of the work force back on the job.


  • May 6, 1983: Jim Quong, a former Yukoner with almost 40 years of community service, receives the Commissioner's Award.

  • May 9, 1983: The Yukon and the federal government sign a long-sought heritage rivers agreement that enables the Yukon government to decide the future use of the territory's rivers.

  • May 11, 1983: Jimmy Kane, the veteran Yukon trapper who saw Jack Dalton arrive in Dalton Post in 1894, dies in Whitehorse. He is believed to be at least 110 years old.

  • May 18, 1983: Dawson City's first private radio station - CFYT-FM - is launched.
  • May 18, 1983: A $700,000 4 year-project to restore the building of Dawson's city daily news is started.

  • May 30, 1983: Dawson City's Diamond Tooth Gertie's gambling casino is re-opened after a $900,000 renovation.


  • June 1, 1983: The federal Treasury Board approves a 3 year $15 million project to build a new airport terminal building in Whitehorse. The official kick-off of the construction project is July 15th.

  • June 3, 1983: The federal government approves $4 million to build a road into Kluane National Park so tourists can visit the Kaskawulsh Glacier.
  • June 3, 1983: Yukon food stores have until Dec. 31 to start selling their goods in metric units. Only the NWT and parts of British Columbia haven't introduced the metric system yet.

  • June 6, 1983: A majority of the laid-off workers at the United Keno Hills silver mine in Elsa accept new contracts, which is an important step towards re-opening. The mine re-opens in August.
  • June 6, 1983: The Tungsten mine (NWT) extends its closure for an undetermined amount of time.

  • June 20, 1983: The Taku Hotel in Whitehorse is hit by a $40,000 fire.

  • June 29, 1983: After nearly 3 years of dickering, the Yukon government and Dawson City council reach a sewer and water agreement.

  • June 30, 1983: Sixty years after his death, Klondike Joe Boyle finally gets recognition from his home country as Boyle is given a military funeral including a military salute.


  • July 4, 1983: Yukon Opposition Leader Tony Penikett is acclaimed to serve a second two-year term as president of the federal New Democratic Party.

  • July 15, 1983: Two port proposal for the Yukon's Arctic coast are filed. However, Northern Development Minister John Munro rules out port proposals for the Yukon's northern coast since they would endanger native land claim negotiations (November 7, 1983).

  • July 20, 1983: Whitehorse Kwanlin Dun band quits the Council for Yukon Indians (CYI) because of undisclosed council decision.


  • August 22, 1983: Mayo's Christ the King Church is restored for its 60th anniversary.

  • August 24, 1983: Whitehorse General Hospital, built as a military hospital in 1955, undergoes a major study to decide about its future.


  • September 7, 1983: Fire damages Grey Mountain Primary School in Riverdale. No one gets hurt. Repairs cost almost $100,000.

  • September 16, 1983: The number of time zones in Alaska will be reduced from four to two as of October 30.

  • September 27, 1983: Alaska Governor Bill Sheffield announces another $11 million will be pumped in the Shakwak project in the Yukon.


  • October 7, 1983: The movie "Never Cry Wolf", shot in the Yukon, has its world premier in Ottawa.

  • October 19, 1983: Author, historian, highway engineer Allen Arthur Wright dies in Whitehorse at the age of 67. Wright wrote the book "Prelude to Bonanza".


  • November 4, 1983: Two large ore-bodies are discovered by a Vancouver-based mining company in the southern Yukon.


  • December 7, 1983: Dr. Hilda Hellaby dies at the age of 85.

  • December 16, 1983: Don Branigan is re-elected as mayor of Whitehorse. He had served in 1980 and 1981, but chose not to run in 1981.

  • December 23, 1983: Florence E. Whyard is named a member of the Order of Canada.



  • January 1, 1984: Life-time Yukoners Charlie and Betty Taylor are awarded Commissioner's Awards.

  • January 3, 1984: Don Branigan becomes mayor of Whitehorse.

  • January 6, 1984: The Yukon government purchases $1 million worth of riverfront land from the White Pass amd Yukon railway, with the goal of park development.

  • January 17, 1984: Whitehorse city council decides to build a new arena in Takhini; throwing out plans for renovation of the Jim Light arena.

  • January 20, 1984: Len and Lillyan Usher are selected Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1984.

  • January 27, 1984: The federal government and the Council for Yukon Indians sign the long-delayed land claims agreement-in-principle which will give Indians $620 million over 20 years and 20,000 square kilometres of land.


  • February 27, 1984: The first Yukon Quest ever started on February 25 in Fairbanks. Read the entire article here.


  • March 9, 1984: The first Yukon Quest sled dog race is won by Sonny Lindner of Johnson River, Alaska.

  • March 19, 1984: The federal government announces its plans to impose English - French bilingualism in the Yukon Territories and the Northwest Territories.

  • March 25, 1985: United Keno Hill Mines Ltd. at Elsa announces it lost $6.8 million in 1984 despite an increase in silver-production by 94% compared to 1983.

  • March 26, 1984: The Yukon government reaches a deal on the COPE claim. The government agrees to support the Committee for Original People's Entitlement (COPE) land claims. Two days later (March 28), the federal government gives its approval. The Yukon government signs COPE's land claim June 8, 1984.

  • March 30, 1984: Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon reaches an agreement with the federal government to fund a Yukon native radio service (March 30, 1984). September 7, 1984 the Canadian Radio Television Telecommunications Commission grants Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon a licence to broadcast programming by satellite to Yukon communities.


  • April 6, 1984: Erik Nielsen resigns from his job as Progressive Conservative House Leader in the House of Commons.

  • April 9, 1984: The use of toll-free 1-800 numbers is now possible in the Yukon.

  • April 11, 1984: Flo Whyard is the 8th recipient in the Yukon of the Order of Canada.


  • May 24, 1984: First level Commissioner's Award are granted to Lyall and Marilyn Murdoch for the work for the Frantic Follies.


  • June 6, 1984: Work on upgrading the North Canol Road, a two year $7.2 million project, have started.

  • June 8, 1984: Canadian Communications Inc. (CanCom) delivers the first native Indian television series by satellite to Canada's remote Northern communities.

  • June 18, 1984: A section of the Dempster Highway is named in honour of Al Wright.

  • June 25, 1984: The $81 million Liard Highway, the first all-year road link between northeastern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, is officially opened.

  • June 27, 1984: The Yukon government decides to provide regular education in French in the coming school year.

  • June 29, 1984: Alpine Bakery opens its doors.


  • August 1, 1984: Prime Minister John Turner visits the Yukon.

  • August 27, 1984: A storm that dropped a foot of snow on Saturday closed a section of the Top of the World Highway and left 25 people stranded overnight when their bus got stuck in a snowdrift just outside the U.S. border.


  • September 5, 1984: Erik Nielsen is re-elected Yukon's MP by one of his largest margins ever.

  • September 17, 1984: Erik Nielsen is named deputy Prime Minister in the new federal government.
  • September 17, 1984: David Crombie is named the minister of Indian affairs and northern development.

  • September 19, 1984: Anvil announces it will close its lead-zinc mine indefinitely if no buyer or partner is found by December 31. A month later (October 29), the Cyprus Anvil Mining Corporation locks out its 200 unionized workers and shuts down the waste-rock stripping operation.

  • September 26, 1984: Gulf Canada Resources announces a big oil discovery in the Beaufort Sea, the first find that could be commercially feasible.


  • October 1, 1984: The World War II hangar on the escarpment side of the airport burned in a dramatic fire this morning. It was human-caused by it is not known whether it was accidental or done or purpose.
  • October 1, 1984: The White Pass and Yukon Corporation and the Cyprus Anvil Mining Corporation have reached an out-of-court settlement on a $3.744 million suit brought against the mine by the railway for unpaid bills a year ago. The settlement is said to have been for $1.675 million.
  • October 1, 1984: A BC provincial court judge has dismissed a charge of manslaughter against a 42-year-old Lower Post woman, a mother of 6 children, saying the woman stabbed her husband in self-defense. Two teenaged daughters testified that they had seen her beaten often.

  • October 12, 1984: Haines Junctions becomes the Yukon's seventh municipality.

  • October 17, 1984: Government Leader Chris Pearson announces he will resign from his jobs as government leader and Conservative party leader in the spring of 1985.

  • October 31, 1984: The community of Carmacks obtains village status.


  • November 5, 1984: The fourth wheel at the Whitehorse Rapids hydroelectrical plant is put into commercial service.


  • December 5, 1984: Citing two missed deadlines, city council has decided to put land slated for a downtown hotel addition back up for sale. After a lengthy controversy early this year, council had agreed to sell land next to the Gold Rush Inn (Ben-Elle Motel) to the Inn's owner to allow for a major $1.7-million expansion of the hotel.
  • December 5, 1984: The federal government, which is responsible for health in the Yukon, says it may not be able to approve use of many of the lots in Mary Lake. And a geotechnical consultant says the subdivision is not suitable for septic systems and should be serviced with expensive partial or total sewage service.
  • December 5, 1984: The city government has agreed to take another look at the feasibility of constructing the new curling rink next to the ski chalet rather than alongside the new hockey arena in Takhini.



  • January 1, 1985: Government Leader Chris Pearson - as announced - resigns from his job as Conservative party president. On March 11, Williard Phelps is elected the new leader of the Yukon Progressive Conservative Party and takes over power as government leader on March 20. On April 12, Williard Phelps calls a generation election on May 13, 1985.

  • January 16, 1985: Irene and Will Crayford from Dawson City are chosen as Mr. and Mrs. Yukon.
  • January 16, 1985: Scottie Gold Mines is closing its mine near Stewart in northwestern B.C. due to lower gold prices.

  • January 25, 1985: Yukon's native radio station CHON-FM takes to the air after three years of preparation. At the end of the year, CHON-FM extends its programming to 12 hours per day.

  • January 30, 1985: Whitehorse City Council decides to close Chadburn Lake for commercial development.
  • January 30, 1985: A 13-year-old boy has pleaded guilty and a 12-year-old boy has pleaded not guilty, to charges of arson in connection with the Sept. 30 blaze that destroyed an abandoned hangar at the Whitehorse Airport.


  • February 8, 1985: Yukon Electrical announces it will link Teslin into the Whitehorse Aishihik-Faro power grid.


  • March 4, 1985: The first Whitehorse-to-Fairbanks Yukon Quest (in 1984 the Quest was run from Fairbanks to Whitehorse) starts in Whitehorse.
  • March 4, 1985: The Takhini arena officially opens.

  • March 15, 1985: The federal government announces an agreement with the United States according to which the Yukon will get four radar station as part of the North Warning Radar System.

  • March 20, 1985: Sheslay Free Mike suspected all. Michael Oros hated airplanes. He lived with the belief that they sprayed poison on the earth and that some of that poison fell on him and his dogs. He hated the police. They represented the authority that he wanted to escape. He also blamed them for killing two of his dogs. Read the entire article here.
  • March 20, 1985: A reclusive bush man, Michael Oros, shot an RCMP dog handler, Constable Mike Buday, dead yesterday before being killed himself by another officer in a brief shoot-out in the remote southern end of Teslin Lake in northern British Columbia. Read the entire article here.

  • March 29, 1985: The Yukon cabinet officially approves the conceptual design of the $40 million Yukon College complex to be finished in 1989.


  • April 1, 1985: A fire destroys the remains of the ghost town of Discovery, 8km east of Atlin.

  • April 26, 1985: The Yukon government decides to set up a pilot French instruction program for Grade 1 students in 3 Yukon schools. The governments also plans to ensure that Grades 5 and 6 French will be taught only by teachers proficient in the language.


  • May 1, 1985: The 200-passenger cruise ship M.V. Klondike is on the way to Dawson to operate as a tourist boat between Dawson and Eagle. The boat makes its first tourist run to Eagle June 28, 1985.

  • May 8, 1985: Yukoner Ed Struzik and 3 team members are the first Canadians to reach the magnetic North Pole.

  • May 15, 1985: The New Democratic Party wins the general elections, making Tony Penikett the new government leader in a minority government situation.

  • May 29, 1985: Yukon artist Lillian Stephensen has one of her watercolour paintings accepted into the Queen's permanent collection.

  • May 31, 1985: The city of Whitehorse is seeking money from Ottawa for an ambitious $30 million plan to upgrade downtown Whitehorse. On October 9, the city announces it plans to rebuild Main Street from 1st to 4th. Details are revealed in January 1986 (January 14, 1986).


  • June 7, 1985: Whitehorse's first ATM machine is installed at Royal Bank.

  • June 10, 1985: Dome Petroleum signed a tentative agreement to sell all assets of the Cyprus Anvil lead-zinc mine in Faro to a group of financiers in Toronto.

  • June 17, 1985: The Yukon cabinet chooses the raven as the territory's official bird.

  • June 19, 1985: Celebration of the 60th anniversary of Mount Logan's first climb.

  • June 24, 1985: Sam Johnston, former chief of the Teslin band, is Yukon's first-ever Indian speaker of the legislature.


  • July 17, 1985: Two Calgary companies propose a $100 million commercial port at King Point on the Yukon's northern coast.

  • July 19, 1985: A law goes into effect that makes it illegal to drink liquor in moving motor vehicles in the Yukon.

  • July 26, 1985: 85th anniversary of the Old Log Church in Whitehorse.


  • August 5, 1985: Canada's newest icebreaker is named after Yukoner Martha Louise Black. The $56 million icebreaker was launched in Vancouver by Flo Whyard.

  • August 21, 1985: "Two sisters between the ages of 40 and 50 were found shot to death on a secluded mining road in the Indian River area about 80 kilometres south of Dawson City." Read the entire article here.

  • August 23, 1985: Charles "Chappie" Chapman, one of the Yukon's most important pioneers, dies at the age of 83.

  • August 28, 1985: George Simmons, a Yukon aviation pioneer, dies at the age of 86.


  • September 11, 1985: City Council approves the demolition of the Jim Light Arena.

  • September 13, 1985: The 4th wheel at the Whitehorse power plant starts its work.

  • September 16, 1985: A 5.0 Richter scale earthquake rattles the Southern Yukon, including Whitehorse. The epicentre is 220km south of Whitehorse. No injuries or damages are reported.
  • September 16, 1985: MLA Andy Philipsen, cabinet minister in the former Conservative government, died on the Dempster Highway when his Freightliner tractor-trailer rig rolled at James Creek, about 8 km east of the Yukon/NWT border.

  • September 18, 1985: Government leader Tony Penikett fires all members of the Yukon Economic Council in order to "re-shape" the council. A new council is named a week later.

  • September 20, 1985: Governor General Jeane Sauve visits Whitehorse.

  • September 30, 1985: Yukon towns are considered by Universal Studios for shooting a movie about RCMP activities in the North, starring Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.


  • October 4, 1985: The federal government announces it will put up money to start planning a new hospital for Whitehorse.

  • October 9, 1985: O.D. (Donald) Brown dies at the age of 67. Brown was a member of Jim Robb's "colorful five per cent" of unique characters.


  • November 1, 1985: Charlie Abel, chief of the Old Crow Indian band for 18 years, dies at the age of 69.

  • November 15, 1985: Don Branigan is elected mayor of Whitehorse.

  • November 20, 1985: The Alaskan government says it will put another $11 million into the Canadian Shakwak project.

  • November 25, 1985: Indian elder Johnny Joe, one of the oldest people in the Yukon, dies in Whitehorse. He was believed to be over 100 years old.

  • November 27, 1985: The French language school in Whitehorse is named after Emily Tremblay.


  • December 9, 1985: The new terminal at the Whitehorse airport is opened.

  • December 13, 1985: Teslin is connected to the Whitehorse-Aishihik power grid.

  • December 31, 1985: Gulf Canada discovered a massive oil resources in the Beaufort sea.



  • January 8, 1986: Charlie and Betty Taylor are selected Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1986.

  • January 10, 1986: Barbara Currie of Tagish receive the Commissioner's Award for her years of dedication and community involvement.

  • January 16, 1986: Dawson City's Anglican Church's Good Samaritan Hall is sold for demolition and won't be restored.

  • January 22, 1986: Harry Joe, hereditary chief of the Crow Clan of the Champagne-Hutchi tribe, dies at the age of 76.

  • January 23, 1986: The United States government announces it is ready to start negotiations on west coast boundary disputes, including a dispute over the location of the Yukon-Alaska border in the Beaufort Sea.

  • January 30, 1986: Joe Bell, publisher of the Northwest Travel Guide and involved in a number of business enterprises in the Yukon, dies at the age of 60.


  • February 12, 1986: Johnnie Johns, Julie Cruikshank and John Gould receive the Yukon Historical and Museums Association Heritage Award for their outstanding contributions to the preservation of the Yukon's culture and history.

  • February 13, 1986: Production workers at the Canada Tungsten mine in Tungsten, N.W.T. vote 96 per cent in favour of strike; 135 workers go on strike on May 20th. In August, the Canada Tungsten Mining Corporation closes its mine at Tungsten, N.W.T. indefinitely (August 13).

  • February 21, 1986: The new McDonald's restaurant opened this morning. The first official burger was served to Chris Clarke, who was fire chief for a day last fall during fire prevention activities sponsored by McDonald's. A Big Mac or Quarter Pounder that costs $1.75 in Vancouver is $2.15 in Whitehorse. The official opening will be March 15th, but getting opened for Rendezvous was important.

  • February 26, 1986: A deal is reached between Alaska and the Yukon that sees the year-round opening of the South Klondike Highway. The deal allows year-round trucking of ore concentrates from Faro to Skagway. In return, Skagway got jobs on the waterfront, a 10-year opening clause even if the mine closes earlier, and the Yukon government pays half of its costs (March 12). June 25, 1986 Canadian and U.S. border posts begin 24-hour service for the first time ever at the Canada-U.S. border post above Skagway. The full-time opening is an interim summer operation to benefit Curragh Resource Ltd.


  • March 4, 1986: After 16 years of negotiations, federal, territorial, city and Kwanlin Dun governments officially sign an agreement that allows the band to move from its village in the Marwell area to the McIntyre subdivision.
  • March 4, 1986: Ken McKinnon is named Yukon Commissioner. He is sworn in on March 31.

  • March 10, 1986: The Yukon Quest sees its first Canadian winner: Bruce Johnson of Atlin River.

  • March 11, 1986: The Mount Skukum gold mine south of Whitehorse is running and poured its first 1,000 gold bar.

  • March 16, 1986: The Arctic Winter Games open in Whitehorse.

  • March 20, 1986: Dyea Development plans to build a new shopping mall on Main Street, starting by late summer.


  • April 1, 1986: Trans North stops its airline services.

  • April 10, 1986: Yukon elder Angela Sidney receives the Order of Canada award.


  • May 6, 1986: Yukon has a pavillon at the '86 Expo in Vancouver, hoping to promote tourism to the Yukon. The pavillion is one of the busiest. with an attendance that is far beyond expectations (June 3).

  • May 9, 1986: Yukon Liberal leader Roger Coles resigns from his position after being arrested and charged with selling cocaine. Jim McLachlan is named the party's interim leader. On October 31, Coles pleads guilty to cocaine dealing and resigns his seat as MLA. A few days later he is sentenced to 3 years in prison (November 3).


  • June 5, 1986: The mill at the Faro lead-zinc mine goes back into production, under the ownership of Curragh Resources.

  • June 10, 1986: A time capsule is buried on the corner of Main Street and Third Ave. The capsule is not to be opened until 2050, the 100th birthday of the city. The capsule is a 45kg plastic drum that is filled with letters, photos, tapes and miscellaneous items donated by Whitehorse residents.

  • June 11, 1986: The first 13 students graduate from Yukon College's native language instructor course.

  • June 13, 1986: The Yukon's oldest war veteran, George Fuller, dies at the age of 93.

  • June 23, 1986: Whitehorse and the Japanese city of Ushiku sign a deal in Whitehorse making the two sister cities.

  • June 26, 1986: An influential defence magazine reports that the United States Air Force is designing a scheme that would try to keep all nuclear battles to the far north of Canada.

  • June 27, 1986: The federal government insists on official bilingualism in the Yukon as the price for helping to improve the government's French-language services to Yukoners. On September 16, a court rules the Yukon government is not a federally-controlled agency and thus need not become officially bilingual.

  • June 30, 1986: Bill McKnight is the new minister of Indian and Northern affairs. Former minister David Crombie is assigned to the Secretary of State department.


  • July 21, 1986: Gordon Gibson Sr., a Yukon-born millionaire, dies at the age of 81.

  • July 23, 1986: Ethel Deyo Gramms, daughter of Sam McGee, dies at the age of 83.

  • July 25, 1986: Workers begin demolishing three old stores on Main Street at Third Ave. to clear the way for a $3 million urban development project.

  • July 30, 1986: Yukon government announces it won't provide any funding for the Whitehorse Arts Centre unless it is built as part of the Yukon College complex in Takhini. The ultimatum prompts suggestions to build part of the College at the Whitehorse waterfront (August 7). On August 20, the Arts Canada North committee agrees to have the Arts built at the site of the new College.


  • August 14, 1986: The federal government transfers its responsibility for (re)naming geographical features in the Yukon Territory to the Yukon government.

  • August 15, 1986: The Alaska government announces $8 million of its U.S. federal government highway funds will be diverted to the Shakwak Highway project, involving reconstruction of the Haines Road in British Columbia and the Yukon.
  • August 15, 1986: A coroner's jury has concluded Michael Eugene Oros, nicknamed "Crazy Mike" or "Sheslay Free Mike" killed trapper Gunter Lischy sometime around August 21, 1981, at Hutsigola Lake, located just south of Teslin Lake, where Lischy had been building a cabin. Read the entire article here.

  • August 19, 1986: Joseph Whiteside Boyle is honored with a plaque on Dredge No. 4 at Bonanza Creek, outside of Dawson City.

  • August 22, 1986: Gulf Canada Corp. decides to pull out of the Beaufort Sea for cost reasons. Its departure costs 750 employees their jobs and weakens the N.W.T.'s economy.

  • August 25, 1986: Cunard Lines' Sea Goddess 1 couldn't put on the brakes fast enough on Friday as her bow ploughed into the dock in Skagway. Over 35 metres of the dock was damaged, expected to be worth thousands of dollars in repairs. A large photo by Harry Kern (not credited) shows the damage.
  • August 25, 1986: The complex story of how six Curragh Resources officials donated $6,000 to Alaska Gov. Bill Sheffield's re-election campaign seems to prove rumors that Texas oil and silver barons, the Hunt Brothers, are a major backer of the Faro mine. The six are Canadian and as foreign nationals, cannot donate to a U.S. campaign. When the mistake was uncovered by an Anchorage reporter, the money was returned.

  • August 26, 1986: Main Street gets a second 4-storey building: two floors are added to the People's Drug Mart Building.


  • September 15, 1986: CBC kicks off its first full-time television production unit in Whitehorse.

  • September 17, 1986: The Yukon government announces that the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was chosen as the government bank.

  • September 18, 1986: Former Yukon cabinet minister Peter "Swede" Hanson dies at the age of 70.

  • September 23, 1986: The Carcross-Tagish band becomes the 11th band to agree to negotiate land claims.


  • October 6, 1986: Capt. Dick Stevenson's toe, the "main ingredient" of the famous Sourtoe Cocktail, has been lifted while Stephenson was traveling.
  • October 6, 1986: The Yukon government backs down on the coat-of-arms controversy and its battle over them with the Yukon's senior judge: the coat-of-arms come out of all five courtrooms.


  • November 20, 1986: "The following was originally published in Nov. 1986. The occasion was the transfer to the Yukon Foundation of a $9,000 balance in the 20–year–old Yukon Klondike Defence Fund." Read the entire article here.
  • November 20, 1986: A New York City railway broker is putting together a $50 million proposal in a bid to buy and operate the White Pass Railway, beginning summer 1987.

  • November 28, 1986: A U.S. Interior Department study calls for petroleum exploration leasing on the coastal plain of northeast Alaska used for calving by the Porcupine Caribou Herd.


  • December 1, 1986: The Yukon government introduces its new Human Rights Bill. It includes gay rights but leaves out equal pay in the private and public sectors.

  • December 3, 1986: U.S. proposal for new offshore exploration of Alaska's oil and gas resources includes a portion of the Beaufort Sea Canada considers part of the Yukon.
  • December 3, 1986: Pacific Western Airlines takes over Canadian Pacific Airlines.

  • December 4, 1986: A tentative Canada - United States agreement has been reached for international management of the Porcupine caribou herd, requiring consultation on hunting quotas and protection of the herd and its habitat.

  • December 5, 1986: The Yukon government introduces legislation requiring seatbelts or child restraints for young children riding in automobiles.

  • December 11, 1986: The first Yukoner is tested HIV-positive.

  • December 15, 1986: The federal government transfers more than 1,500 hectares of land in the Kluane region to the territorial government and the Champagne-Aishihik Indian band. It's the first-ever transfer under the pre-claims land availability process.

  • December 19, 1986: The Kaska Dena Council files a lawsuit claiming a land freeze in the area of Watson Lake.

  • December 31, 1986: Rev. John A. Davies, D.D., Canon Emeritus, dies at the age of 101.



  • January 2, 1987: 5 people are honoured with the Commissioner's Public Service Awards: Sue and Alex Van Bibber of Champagne, Elijah Smith of Whitehorse, Johnnie Johns of Carcross and Father Jean-Marie Mouchet.

  • January 5, 1987: WHTV increases the number of channels available, bringing it to five.

  • January 19, 1987: Erik Nielsen, the Yukon's MP for almost 30 years, resigns his seat in the House of Commons on January 19, then on January 22, he is named president of the Canadian Transport Commission.

  • January 29, 1987: Jack and Agnes Andison are selected Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1987.


  • February 3, 1987: The Tatchun byelection after Roger Cole's resignation is won by the NDP candidate and leads to the first majority NDP government in the Yukon's history.

  • February 6, 1987: The Yukon government decides to make daytime use of headlights on Yukon highways mandatory.
  • February 6, 1987: George Agouta Edzerdza, hereditary chief of the Tahltan people, dies at the age of 79.
  • February 6, 1987: The Hudson's Bay Co. sells is northern stores.

  • February 13, 1987: The Human Rights Act is approved.

  • February 24, 1987: Curragh Resources decides to spend $50,000 to install video cameras at U.S. custom posts outside Skagway. The video cameras allow Customs to leave the border posts unstaffed from midnight to 8 a.m. and still let pass Yukon Alaska Transport trucks carrying ore concentrate from Curragh's mine in Faro. It takes until fall before the new systems takes effect.

  • February 25, 1987: After seven months of construction, six retail outlets in the new $2 million Main Street shopping mall open.
  • February 25, 1987: Richard Sterling Finnie, a Yukon-born chronicler of northern history, dies at the age of 80.

  • February 26, 1987: CHON FM arrives in Dawson City. In June, the Yukon's native broadcasting society which operates CHON-FM received five out of 12 awards offered by the National Aboriginal Communications Society for media excellence in television and radio (June 12).


  • March 10, 1987: Yukon joins the rest of Canada and the U.S. in beginning Daylight Savings Time on the first Sunday of April, three weeks earlier than the practice of previous years.

  • March 18, 1987: The federal government announces plans for a 1988 start to the $19 million replacement of the downtown Federal Building in Whitehorse.

  • March 23, 1987: Canadian Airlines International is unveiled as the name of the new airline resulting from the mergin of Canadian Pacific and Pacific Western Airlines.

  • March 24, 1987: Fire destroys the 55-year old Chateau Mayo hotel.

  • March 25, 1987: Dean Elston, one of the most well-known construction bosses in the Yukon, dies at the age of 68.

  • March 27, 1987: The $21.5 million development of the Ketza River gold mine near Ross River has been given formal approval.


  • April 3, 1987: A creek near Cracker Creek is named after Annie Ned, an Indian elder who is about 100 years old. The creek is the first feature the Yukon government names since the federal government transferred the responsibility for naming geographical features. The federal policy did not allow to name features after a person until the person is deceased.

  • April 10, 1987: Rolf Hougen, heading a group of investors, announces an offer to purchase and re-open the White Pass railway as a summer-only tourist operation (April 10, 1987). In November, Rolf Hougen asks for government investment since the purchase of the White Pass and Yukon Railway is too expensive to be profitable as a tourist-only business (November 4, 1987). November 25, 1987, a tentative agreement over the sale of the historic White Pass railway is reached between Rolf Hougen and the White Pass. However, at the end of the year (December 23, 1987), Alaska-Yukon Rail Company with businessman Rolf Hougen refuses to pay a downpayment on White Pass railway by the required deadline. While Alaska-Yukon is not giving up, it means White Pass is free to try to sell elsewhere. Meanwhile the Yukon government announced it would be interested in taking a direct ownership role in a revived White Pass railway. Also, New York railway promoter Don Primi announces he eyes again the purchase of the White Pass Railway (December 30, 1987).

  • April 13, 1987: A plaque is placed in memory of Colonel Joseph Whiteside Boyle in St. James Church at Hampton Hill, London, England - the place where Boyle died in 1923.

  • April 21, 1987: The American administration formally recommends to Congress that oil and gas exploration be allowed in the calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd (April 21, 1987). In October (October 23, 1987), The Council for Yukon Indians (CYI) take the caribou issue linked to the planned oil and gas development in the Alaskan wildlife refuge, to the U.S. Congress.

  • April 23, 1987: Skagway-bound vehicles will no longer be able to cross the U.S. border between 12 a.m. and 8 a.m., bringing to an end the 24-hour, all-season access. The only exception are Yukon-Alaska Tranposrt trucks carrying lead-zinc ore concentrates from Faro to Skagway.

  • April 29, 1987: Dawson city's dyke is completed. Construction began after the 1979 flood, the worst in Dawson's history.


  • May 1, 1987: Changes in the new Canadian constitution - known as the Meech Lake accord - give each of the 10 provinces a veto over the formation of new provinces, i.e. whether the Yukon or the N.W.T. can ever become provinces (May 1, 1987). The changes prompt a lawsuit by the Yukon government. (May 27, 1987). In September, Yukon's MP Audrey McLaughlin decides to vote against the Meech Lake constitutional accord. She is the only NDP MP in doing so (September 14, 1987). In October, the House of Commons votes to pass the Meech Lake accord (October 26, 1987). The two-day hearing of the federal government's appeal, in attempts to stop the Yukon's Meech Lake lawsuit gets under way in Vancouver, also in October (October 26, 1987). At the end of the year (December 23, 1987), The Yukon Court of Appeal sides with the federal government and kills the Yukon lawsuit against the Meech Lake accord.

  • May 11, 1987: The Yukon coat-of-arms are back up at The Law Courts, nine months after a battle between Justice minister Roger Kimmerly and Supreme Court Justice Harry Madison that led to their removal.

  • May 15, 1987: In a bid to prevent repeats of a road blockade by the Ross River Indian Band and to solve the uncertainty over its legality, the Yukon government formally designates most Yukon roads as "public" thereby making it illegal to block them.

  • May 19, 1987: Shingle Point, a Yukon radar station, is converted into a new North Warning Station (May 19, 1987). It is the first radar station in the new North Warning System that is turned on (October 6, 1987). In the summer, the department of National Defence scrapps plans to build a north warning radar station near Old Crow. Instead, the National Defence Department eyes a site in the North Yukon National Park (August 5, 1987).

  • May 27, 1987: Video DJ Christopher Ward visits Whitehorse to film background shots for MuchMusic. Ward hosted an AC/DC film while in town, signs pictures, gives out prizes at Erik's and is interviewed by WHTV.


  • June 11, 1987: The Dawson City museum re-opens after extensive renovations.

  • June 12, 1987: The Alsek River is officially added to the Canadian Heritage River System.

  • June 26, 1987: The "skywalk" between Shopper's Plaza and Hougen's is officially opened.


  • July 7, 1987: Curragh Resources formally announces a $90 million plan to begin mining it Grum and Vangorda deposits.

  • July 10, 1987: The Council for Yukon Indians (CYI) accepts Ta'an Dun as 13th band.

  • July 17, 1987: Champagne-Aishihik elder Solomon Charlie is killed when the pickup he was a passenger in rolled near Haines Junction on July 13th. He was 81.

  • July 21, 1987: Audrey McLaughlin wins the byelection and becomes a successor to Yukon M.P. Erik Nielsen. On August 11, Audrey McLaughlin is officially sworn in in Ottawa as Yukon's member of Parliament.


  • August 4, 1987: City Council approves a contract to reconstruct Centennial Street in Porter Creek eliminating the possibility of work on two Hillcrest roads.

  • August 5, 1987: The federal government agrees to take a $4 million loss on a 6 year loan it made to the White Pass and Yukon Railway in 1981.
  • August 5, 1987: The City of Whitehorse is looking into adding a 3rd lane for the Robert Service bridge between downtown and Riverdale.

  • August 7, 1987: In accordance with the Committee for Original People's Entitlement (COPE) Agreement of 1984, Herschel Island becomes Yukon's first territorial park.

  • August 12, 1987: Rolf Hougen receives the Yukoner Award from the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon for his effort in trying to transform the White Pass and Yukon Railway into a tourist attraction.


  • September 4, 1987: RCMP divers were continuing to search the Pelly River today for the body of a 28-year-old Ross River woman, Joyce Peters, who fell off the community's ferry Wednesday night and presumably drowned. She was fishing from the docked ferry at about 10 p.m. when she toppled overboard. It was very dark and raining steadily at the time, and a friend who was with Peters was unable to pull her out before the fast-moving river swept her downstream.

  • September 9, 1987: Freegold Recovery Inc. is considering a full-scale operation to "mine" the old mill wastes at the Whitehorse Copper property.

  • September 10, 1987: The Yukon government is formally opposing plans for a tiny placer mine on the Wheaton River. A Lethbridge resident, who already has a cabin on his placer claim, is seeking a water licence that would allow him to run a placer mine. It would be the first mine on the Wheaton River, popular for recreational canoeing and kayaking.

  • September 11, 1987: The band is leading an effort to restore and return life to the old village of Moosehide, mostly abandoned 30 years ago. In 1898, Bishop Bompas petitioned the government to create the Moosehide reserve, to remove the Indian people from the path of the Gold Rush. One of six Indian reserves created in the Yukon, it remained the band's community site for six decades, but in 1957 when the government withdrew its support for a teacher in the village, the exodus slowly began.

  • September 14, 1987: After stumping thousands of people for the past two years, the secret location of a token for a $42,000 gold nugget necklace was discovered at last, in the cowcatcher of Engine 51 at the MacBride Museum.

  • September 23, 1987: The pope visits Fort Simpson, NWT.

  • September 24, 1987: The Yukon Municipal Board has reversed its January decision against expanding the town of Dawson City, and now recommends the government allow most of the expansion.


  • October 5, 1987: Alaska sues the U.S. government over proposed northern overflights of plutonium, a practice that the Yukon is also fighting.

  • October 13, 1987: The White Pass and Yukon Corporation, which owns most of the downtown riverbank land, decides to consider developing the downtown waterfront on its own instead of selling the land.

  • October 23, 1987: The Yukon and federal governments announce they have reached a deal on land-use planning for the Yukon.

  • October 29, 1987: Yukoners Rolf Hougen and Ted Harrison receive Order of Canada awards in Ottawa. Hougen is named an officer of the Order, Harrison is named as member.

  • October 30, 1987: It is revealed that money trouble has hit "Target Downtown", the three-year-old initative aimed at beautifying and revitalizing the downtown core.


  • November 6, 1987: City Council turns down a proposal for underground parking development made by Rolf Hougen. Four days later, the City promises its own parking development.

  • November 13, 1987: One of the largest-ever reconstruction projects on the Alaska Highway, the 50-kilometre-long Trutch Mountain bypass, was officially opened on November 9th. It took 6 years and $26.25 million to complete the route that avoids the 300-meter climb to Trutch Mountain ridge.

  • November 16, 1987: A 5.3 earthquake marks the beginning of a series of earthquakes over two weeks in the Whitehorse area. The last earthquake of the series measures 7.5 on the Richter scale and leads to a tsunami warnings and evacuations along the Pacific Coast (November 30).

  • November 17, 1987: The Yukon cabinet approves extension of Dawson City's boundary. The town becomes 3½ times larger on January 1st, 1988.

  • November 27, 1987: Yukon archeologist Bill Irving dies at the age of 60.


  • December 4, 1987: Canadian National announces it has put NorthwesTel up for sale.
  • December 4, 1987: Statistics show that 1987 has been a record breaking years for Yukon miner in terms of exploration and production.

  • December 8, 1987: The U.S. government comes up with another $8 million to complete the Shakwak Highway Project along the Haines Road.



  • January 5: Commissioner's Awards are presented to George Dawson Sr. and Andy Hooper (January 5), and Pearl Keenan and Don Taylor(January 27).
  • January 5, 1988: Betty and Ed Karman of Haines Junction are named Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1988.
  • January 5, 1988: A group of Yukon and Northwest Territories businesspeople plan a bid to buy NorthwesTel in an effort to keep control in the North. It is announced on May 24th that the Yukon government might become a 10% owner of NorthwesTel since it is part of the northern consortium that submitted a bid to buy the phone company. However, August 12, 1988 the Yukon government and other private investors pull out of the consortium. August 29, 1988 Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. becomes the new owner of NorthwesTel.

  • January 8, 1988: The Marwell industrial area is completely flooded due to an ice blockage on the Yukon river.
  • January 8, 1988: Helen Horback, Whitehorse historian, ex-president of the MacBride Museum, founding member of the Yukon Historical and Museum Association, dies on January 4th.

  • January 13, 1988: The Department of National Defence wants to install a short range radar detector on Herschel Island as part of the New North Warning System.

  • January 18, 1988: Unsafe levels of carcinogenic compounds forced a hasty evacuation of basement offices in the territorial government building downtown Whitehorse.

  • January 20, 1988: The Olympic Torch, on its way from Athens to the Olympic Games in Calgary, arrives in Whitehorse.

  • January 25, 1988: More than 600 people attend the funeral of Johnny Johns. He died on January 18th at the age of 89.
  • January 26, 1988: The City of Whitehorse introduces in Riverdale "no burn orders" that go into effect as soon as they are warranted by weather conditions. A no-burn order forces Riverdale wood stove users to put out their fires and switch to alternate heat sources.


  • February 4, 1988: Flora Boyle Frisch, daughter of Joe Boyle, dies on February 2nd at the age of 94.

  • February 11, 1988: Juneau and Whitehorse discuss becoming twin cities.

  • February 25, 1988: The U.S. Senate's energy and natural resources committee in Washington approves a bill that would permit oil and gas exploration of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Senate has to vote later.

  • February 26, 1988: BYG Natural resources hopes for a 1988 re-opening of the gold mine near Carmacks. The Yukon is already assureed of the opening of the Ketza River gold mine by Canamax and the Omni Resources gold mine near Carmacks.
  • February 26, 1988: Ottawa announces that it will not recognize the Lake Laberge Ta'an Dun band as a separate band in the land claims negotations claiming that the band never legally existed.


  • March 1, 1988: White Pass and Yukon Corporation announce that trains will begin a limited summer-only tourist operation on May 12th, 5½ years after the railway closed for business. On April 5th, the first train climbs the White Pass summit. The first White Pass passenger train - the restored steam engine 73 - travels for a test run from Skagway to Clifton on May 5th. A few days later (May 13th), Number 73 leaves from Skagway for its first official White Pass ride. On July 22nd, White Pass announces extensions plans that will take passenger trains into Canada.

  • March 7, 1988: A 7.3. Earthquake shakes Alaska and the southern Yukon setting off tsunami warnings along the coast line
  • March 7, 1988: A fire destroys the Blattler residence, a 87 year old historic home in Dawson.

  • March 8, 1988: It is announced that parts of the Alaska Highway may have to be turned back into gravel because of major federal money cuts.
  • March 8, 1988: The $900,000 expansion of the City hall has been completed.

  • March 9, 1988: Replacing Rolf Hougen, former commissioner Jim Smith is elected chairman of the Yukon Foundation, a Yukon organization that administers scholarships and other funds.

  • March 10, 1988: The U.S. decides not to allow plutonium-carrying flights to fly over the Yukon and Alaska airspace after organized protests.
  • March 10, 1988: Torpedo-like devices, used by the Canadian Forces to listen to submarines, fall off an airplane into a Whitehorse subdivision.
  • March 10, 1988: Whitehorse councillor Bert Law resigns his seat for health reasons.

  • March 11, 1988: In a quest to add northern and native content, Sesame Street's west coast production unit goes to Mayo and Teslin.
  • March 11, 1988: The Yukon Chamber of Mines recognizes for the first time three new life members: Erik Nielsen, Dorothy Howett and Harry Versluce.

  • March 18, 1988: The B.C. government announces to loan up to $25 million to the Cassiar Mining Corporation.

  • March 23, 1988: John Livingston Phelps, a pioneer in the electrical and political fields in the Yukon, dies at the age of 71.

  • March 28, 1988: Good Friday is the expiration date for 24-hour liquor sales licences. Sales between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. are no longer allowed.


  • April 13, 1988: Leo Heisz, veteran trapper and vice president of the Yukon Trappers Association for 12 years, dies on April 9th.

  • April 28, 1988: An agreement between federal and territorial government on French and Aboriginal languages is reached. The agreement exempts the Yukon from the provisions of Bill C-72, the Official Languages Act. The Yukon will improve services in French but it will not establish official bilingualism. As part of its commitment the Yukon announces to set up a translation bureau (April 29, 1988). May 19, 1988 the Yukon MLAs pass the Language Agreement Act.

  • April 29, 1988: The first gold brick was poured at Ketza on April 28th.


  • May 3, 1988: The British government announces to pass a fur labelling regulation that would require to sew warning labels onto fur products and that would have a major impact on Yukon's fur industries. Yukon MP Audrey McLaughlin announces to fight the regulation.

  • May 5, 1988: Chief territorial court judge Daleatta Ilnicki announces her resignation as of June 6th after a two-year stint in the Yukon, leaving the Yukon without a permanent judge.

  • May 9, 1988: Government leader Tony Penikett rejects calls for a land claims referendum, saying Yukon people will have ample time to express their views before a settlement is signed.

  • May 10, 1988: The Yukon Arts Council announces plans to build a heritage park on Lambert Street / 3rd Avenue.

  • May 16, 1988: The Ta'an Dun Council officially recognizes Indian elder George Dawson as its hereditary chief.

  • May 20, 1988: The Yukon government announces it plans to extend CBC radio signals along the major Yukon highways.
  • May 20, 1988: The Thirty Mile River is formally nominated for Canadian heritage river status.
  • May 20, 1988: Yukon politicians announce they want trade sanctions against Britain because of the planned fur labelling regulations.

  • May 24, 1988: Omni Resources opens a hard-rock gold mine this summer in the Wheaton River valley 50km south of Whitehorse.

  • May 26, 1988: Radio CKYN, "Yukon Gold," goes on air. The special visitor radio service is broadcast from the Yukon government's visitor reception centres in Watson Lake, Carcross, Whitehorse, Haines Junction, Beaver Creek and Dawson City.


  • June 2, 1988: As announced on June 2, employees of Curragh Resources mine in Faro go on strike June 10th. On June 24th, striking employees get their last paycheque for the foreseeable future as the $1-million-a-day strike enters its third week. The strike is over on July 7th.

  • June 7, 1988: Foothills Pipelines announces that the price for the Alaska gas pipeline has been reduced from US $26.1 billion to US $14.6 billion.

  • June 8, 1988: Long-time Whitehorse resident and community activist Jan Montgomery died on June 2nd at the age of 76.

  • June 10, 1988: A Ford of Canada commercial is filmed entirely in the Yukon.

  • June 13, 1988: Yukon College moves into its facilities at the new Takhini place. In September it is announced that the college will provide the first university-level northern studies program offered in Canada (September 21, 1988). Two days later, Pierre Berton is named the first chancellor of Yukon College (September 23, 1988). The official opening takes place October 3, 1988.

  • June 16, 1988: At the beginning of the summer, Whitehorse Mayor Don Branigan is charged with 51 counts of forging medical documents, 51 counts of using the forged documents and one count of profiting from fraud (June 16, 1988). Despite these charges, Branigan refuses to step down and announces instead to seek nomination by the Liberal Party for the next federal elections (June 21, 1988). November 14, 1988 he is re-elected mayor of Whitehorse.

  • June 20, 1988: It is announced that a new elementary school will be built in Granger.

  • June 22, 1988: The Canada-wide search for a doctor for Faro ends two months after the drowning of four-year-old boy with the hiring of Russell Bamford, a physician working in Grande Prairie, Alta.

  • June 23, 1988: Joyce Hayden of Whitehorse is one of 29 Canadians to be honored with a Canada Volunteer Award.

  • June 28, 1988: Margaret Thomson, a woman whose many community achievements were recognized across Canada, died of cancer on June 22nd. On September 2, Gail Martina and Janet McRobb, her daughters, accept the Citation of Citizienship Award on her behalf.


  • July 4, 1988: Ted Myles, owner and founder of the oldest taxi company in Whitehorse (Yellow Cab) died on June 28th at the age of 81. He had come north in 1942 to drive bus for the U.S. Army.

  • July 5, 1988: Carmacks-Little Salmon Indian Elder Taylor McGundy and former Carmacks chief dies at the age of 79.

  • July 11, 1988: Northwest Territories' Dene reject a $500 million land claim deal and ask for a meeting with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney before signing an agreement-in-principle. The federal government announced on August 1st that it was unwilling to renegotiate the deal.

  • July 13, 1988: Record rainfalls are recorded in the first part of July. Heavy rainfalls and mudslides cause the closing of the Alaska Highway (July 13). Hundreds of highway travelers are rescued by helicopters (July 14). Flooding destroys historic buildings at Silver City (July 14) as the heavy rains coat the townsite in as much as a metre of silt. In downtown Whitehorse, people move in paddleboats.

  • July 15, 1988: Old Crow elder Charlie Peter Charlie is named to the Order of Canada.

  • July 22, 1988: The Council for Yukon Indians approve the land claim framework agreement.

  • July 25, 1988: The Ketza River mine in Ross River opens.

  • July 29, 1988: Northern Native Broadcasting wins five awards at the National Aboriginal Communication Society Annual Multi-media Festival.


  • August 1, 1988: MV Anna Maria, a replica of the original vessel built in B.C., arrives in Skagway. On August 18, 1988 concerns are raised that the vessel might be too heavy to make it from Skagway to Whitehorse. Nevertheless, the MV Anna Maria leaves Skagway on September 7, arriving in Whitehorse on November 26th after many problems.

  • August 2, 1988: The Skukum mine closes.

  • August 10, 1988: White Pass and Yukon Route railway are recognized as a national historic site.

  • August 11, 1988: Work on a 30-unit motel on Strickland Street begin.

  • August 18, 1988: Plans are announced to extend Third Avenue to intersect with Second Avenue.

  • August 22, 1988: John Scott receives the Whitehorse Heritage Award.

  • August 23, 1988: Canadians Jeffrey MacInnis and Michael Beedell are the first to sail through the Northwest Passage powered solely by the wind.

  • August 24, 1988: 1,146 Yukon Indians have Indian status reinstated as of June 30 following enactment in 1985 of Bill C31.

  • August 25, 1988: Frederick H. Collins dies in St. Catherines, Ont. on August 24th at the age of 91.

  • August 26, 1988: John Steevers, a leading lawyer, dies in Dawson at the age of 66.
  • August 26, 1988: A land use report recommends prohibiting future staking.


  • September 6, 1988: The White Pass and Yukon Corp. proposes demolishing the old college in favour of a park and new government building.

  • September 7, 1988: Roger Kimmerley announces his retirement from politics after being a member of the Yukon legislature for almost 7 years.

  • September 8, 1988: It is announced that the government owned sawmill in Watson Lake lost $ 1.8 million in its first year of operation.
  • September 8, 1988: French Language School Emilie-Tremblay in Whitehorse is given official status.

  • September 9, 1988: White Pass announces to provide service between Fraser and Bennett, B.C. in 1989.

  • September 13, 1988: The majority of city councillors vote against twinning Whitehorse with the Caribbean island of Castries, St. Lucia, on the rationale that Whitehorse would not gain the advantage in the relationship.

  • September 19, 1988: Statistics Canada reports the Yukon has the highest rate of impaired driving cases in Canada.


  • October 20, 1988: The government passes the Human Rights Regulations.

  • October 28, 1988: The Dawson Indian band officially opens the Tro-Chu-Tin Indian Heritage Centre in Dawson City.


  • November 1, 1988: 171 Yukon miners and prospectors - 2 women and 169 men - are inducted into the Yukon Prospectors' Hall of Fame.
  • November 1, 1988: The federal cabinet orders interim protection for two more Yukon Indian bands: the Na-Cho Nyak Dun Band of Mayo and the Liard Indian Band.

  • November 4, 1988: United Keno Hill Mines Ltd. lays off 50 workers, almost one-quarter of its staff.
  • November 4, 1988: Skagway residents are tested for lead in their blood after a consultant company found high levels of lead in vegetation, air and dust samples. Tests results indicate lead levels lower than what is considered acceptable (December 1, 1988).

  • November 7, 1988: For the first time in Whitehorse history, a native woman, Norma Shorty, 32, runs for a seat on Whitehorse city council.

  • November 9, 1988: After a seven-hour marathon meeting between Indian Affairs Minister Bill McKnight and Government leader Tony Penikett reached a tentative Indian land claim agreement-in-principle.

  • November 22, 1988: Audrey McLaughlin wins the federal election and is re-elected as the Yukon's MP.


  • December 1, 1988: Works for a 30-unit condominium on Lewes Blvd. are underway.

  • December 5, 1988: The City of Whitehorse begins its first no-burn period in Riverdale, the first of its kind in Canada.

  • December 12, 1988: Yukon Indian leaders ratify the Indian land claim agreement-in-principle.

  • December 22, 1988: Deputy minister Andre Gagnon dies of cancer at the age of 45.



  • January 3, 1989: Erik Nielsen and Ellen Harris receive the Commissioner's Award for Public Service.

  • January 6, 1989: Ottawa backs down on its plan to build a short-range radar station on Herschel Island.

  • January 9, 1989: The Elsa mine closes, laying off 170 people.
  • January 9, 1989: Dave Porter announces his resignation from his job as the Yukon's minister of Tourism and Renewable Resources after being apointed as the new executive director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission. Dave Porter is replaced by Art Webster.

  • January 12, 1989: RCMP officer James B. Fitzgerald dies.

  • January 16, 1989: Former mayor Flo Whyard is appointed administrator for the Yukon. She is sworn in on January 24th.

  • January 17, 1989: Government leader Tony Penikett announces the government owned sawmill in Watson Lake lost $ 4.5 million from April 1988 to March 1989. In June it is announced that payment cheques of Watson sawmill workers have been delayed for more than 60 days. A few days later the Watson sawmill suffers a second major blaze in 14 months (June 26, 1989).
  • January 17, 1989: Government leader Tony Penikett announces government election for February 20. The NDP wins the government elections and takes 9 seats out of 16.
  • January 17, 1989: The Yukon Government officially accepts the Yukon Indian land claim agreement-in-principle. The federal government approves the agreement on March 16. The Yukon land claims framework agreement is officially signed by Mike Smith, chair of the Council for Yukon Indians, Yukon Government Leader Tony Penikett and federal Indian Affairs Minister Pierre Cadieux on May 29.

  • January 23, 1989: Despite strong resident protests, Whitehorse city council announces its plans to go ahead with the upgrading of 12th Avenue in Porter Creek.

  • January 27, 1989: A board of the Yukon Human Rights Commission rules that Madeline Gould is legally entitled to join the Yukon Order of Pioneers that previously was reserved to men only.

  • January 30, 1989: Pierre Cadieux is named new minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, succeeding Bill McKnight.

  • January 31, 1989: The Ketza Mine is sold for $3 million. On April 7, 1989 Belmora Mines Ltd. backs out on buying the Ketza River gold mine - a day before the scheduled closing of the deal. On April 21, Carnamax reaches a deal to become the sole owner of the Ketza River gold mine. The deal is concluded on July 6.


  • February 2, 1989: George Dawson, hereditary chief of the Ta'an Kwach'an Council, dies February 1st at the age of 86.

  • February 8, 1989: Two hostages are taken at the Kopper King Tavern. Nobody is injured.

  • February 15, 1989: The White Pass and Yukon Corp. announces to build a new $ 2.6. million dock in Skagway attempting to attract 60,000 to 75,000 additional annual visitors.

  • February 16, 1989: The City of Whitehorse lays first charges under its 2-year-old woodsmoke bylaw.


  • March 10, 1989: Dr. Joseph Lazarovich and Robin Glass are named honorary citizens of Faro.

  • March 22, 1989: Yukon chief medical health officer Dr. George Walker dies of cancer at the age of 56.

  • March 24, 1989: A total of 240,000 barrels of crude oil are dumped in Alaska's Prince William Sound when the tanker Exxon Valdez runs aground.

  • March 30, 1989: Mike Smith resigns from his job as the Council for Yukon Indian's top official on March 30. On June 8, Judy Gingell is the first woman to be elected as chair of the Council for Yukon Indians.


  • April 3, 1989: Television Northern Canada (TVNC) plans to get a new television channel for aboriginal and northern Canadians to air by November 1991.

  • April 6, 1989: The City of Whitehorse approves the development for a new subdivision across the Alaska Highway from the Wolf Creek subdivision.

  • April 14, 1989: The Whitehorse board of variance overturns the city planning board's decision to approve the location of a polyureithane block factory along Second Avenue.
  • April 14, 1989: The Yukon government declares April 28 as an official Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

  • April 20, 1989: The City of Whitehorse announces they will spend $100,000 to extend Ray Street, adding another connection between Fourth and Second Avenue.

  • April 21, 1989: Roy Minter, Father Veyrat and the Klondike Visitors Association are the recipients of the 1988 heritage awards from the Yukon Historical and Museums Association.


  • May 15, 1989: NorthwesTel pleads guilty to one charge of illegally shipping PCB-laden radio-equipment from a Distant Early Warning Line site near the Yukon border.

  • May 16, 1989: Yukon artist Ted Harrison takes New York by storm with his first American show.

  • May 24, 1989: Audrey McLaughlin announces to run for NDP leadership. On December 4th she became the first woman in Canadian history to lead a federal political party with her victory at the New Democratic Party leadership convention in Winnipeg.
  • May 24, 1989: MV Anna Maria is put into water for the first time. The vessel reaches Dawson City on July 8, a year later than originally planned.


  • June 1, 1989: Federal Northern Development Minister Pierre Cadieux announces to offer new exploration rights in the Beaufort Sea for the first time in 20 years.

  • June 5, 1989: A Ford pickup truck collides with the SS Klondike.

  • June 6, 1989: Former Yukon Tourism minister Dave Porter wins the Tourism Award.

  • June 9, 1989: Mayor Don Branigan is found not guilty of 61 fraud related charges by the territorial courts.

  • June 15, 1989: The "Klondike Sun" goes on sale on May 25th, replacing the 35-year old "Klondike Korner".

  • June 19, 1989: Respected elder and storyteller Kitty Smith dies. She is believed to be well over 100.

  • June 21, 1989: The Nakai play "Daydream" represents the Yukon at the Canadian Theatre Festival in Victoria.

  • June 22, 1989: A new Whitehorse waterfront plan, supported by the Yukon government, the City of Whitehorse , and the White Pass and Yukon Corp., prompts objections from the public (June 22 and 23, 1989). Public submissions to Whitehorse city council almost unanimously condemn waterfront development plans to move the White Pass depot from its present Main Street location (September 20, 1989).

  • June 28, 1989: The territory's first Mitzvah is celebrated on July 1st.

  • June 30, 1989: Whitehorse teacher Sandra Henderson is appointed as a member of the Order of Canada. She, as well as former Supreme Court of Canada justice Jean Beetz and Dene Tha' Indian band chief Harry Chonkolay receive the awards on October 18th.


  • July 10, 1989: The Carmacks Indian Bank enters its first business venture by taking over the local general store.

  • July 13, 1989: The White River band becomes the 14th First Nation, receiving official recognition by the Council for Yukon Indians (CYI).

  • July 17 - August 28, 1989: Record-breaking temperatures cause record fires requiring help from outside the territory.

  • July 20, 1989: Dawson City's sternwheeler S.S. Keno is closed to vistors due to the deterioration of the 67-year-old vessel.


  • August 3, 1989: Internationally-known Yukon artist Lilias Ar de Soif Farley dies in her Whitehorse home at the age of 82.

  • August 4, 1989: Northwest Territories residents lost telephone contact with the outside world for 17 hours when suspected arson wiped out a microwave site near Hay River Thursday afternoon. The fire will likely cost the phone company about $1 million. Temporary microwave equipment from the Alberta Government Telephone Company was flown up and was functioning at 7 a.m. today.

  • August 8, 1989: The 57-year-old vessel Dorothy is relaunched into the waters of Marsh Lake after a major refit.

  • August 22, 1989: Erik Nielsen publishes his autobiography "The House is not a Home". Filled with political and private revelations it turns into a bestseller immediately.
  • August 22, 1989: NorthwesTel announces to provide phone service for Marsh Lake and Judas Creek by December.

  • August 24, 1989: Mayor Don Branigan presents the Whitehorse Heritage Award to the organizers of the storytelling festival.

  • August 28, 1989: Sean Sheardown's silver medal in cycling is the Yukon's first medal at Canada Summer Games.

  • August 30, 1989: Respected Burwash elder Joe Jacquot dies at the age of 62.


  • September 7, 1989: The Gwich'in nation sues the U.S. Secretary of the Interior over his decision to open the ANWR for oil development.

  • September 9, 1989: The Yukon government and the Nacho Nyak Dun Band form the first renewable resources council.

  • September 14, 1989: The Yukon Arts Council announces that Pierre Berton's $55,000 donation to the Council will be used to buy Berton's childhood house in Dawson and to turn it into a home for writers.

  • September 18, 1989: Because of a Yukon whooping cough epidemic, children aged seven and under are barred from schools and daycares if they are not fully immunized. Non- immunized kids can return to school October 6th.

  • September 20, 1989: As part of a new agreement with Skukum Gold Inc., Placer Dome Inc. pumps $12 million into Skukum Gold Inc.'s claims in the Wheaton River Valley.

  • September 21, 1989: Yukon College president Lynn Ogden resigns from his job less than a year after his controversial appointment by a three-member committee led by Premier Tony Penikett.


  • October 4, 1989: The Guild Society, the Nakai Players and Separate Reality theatre groups announce the possibility of a merger.

  • October 11, 1989: Tony Penikett changes his title "government leader" into "premier".

  • October 27, 1989: The Kwanlin Dun Indian Band is the last of the 13 Yukon First Nations to receive interim protection for its land selections.

  • October 31, 1989: Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd. applies to build a $4.4 billion MacKenzie Valley pipeline.


  • November 2, 1989: A government-Inuvialuit committee approves oil drilling in the Beaufort sea.

  • November 3, 1989: The Yukon government creates two new advisory bodies: the Waste Management Advisory Committee and the Yukon Council on the Economy and the Environment.

  • November 7, 1989: One of the largest mining companies in Canada, Cominco, buys a 17 per cent share of the Windy Craggy project.

  • November 8, 1989: Three Yukon Indian bands - the bands of Teslin, Champagne-Aishihik and Old Crow - sign an agreement to develop a tribal justice system.

  • November 17, 1989: Dave Porter announces his resignation from his job as executive director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission for a job with the government of the Northwest Territories.

  • November 24, 1989: The Yukon government opposes any oil tanker traffic in the Beaufort Sea.

  • November 28, 1989: Statistics show that placer mining in 1989 had its best season since 1917.

  • November 28, 1989: The Kluane Tribal Council elder Sam Johnson Sr. dies at the age of 80.

  • November 29, 1989: One of the year's loudest public uproars begins with the government's announcement it will change the licence plate design and remove the gold panner from it.


  • December 1, 1989: The Yukon government announces its Yukon Development Corp. has lost $8 million in the last two years.

  • December 13, 1989: Community Services Minister Maurice Byblow rejects Conservative Opposition demands for a Yukon 911 emergency telephone system.

  • December 14, 1989: The Yukon government announces to introduce mandatory seatbelt use in 1990.

  • December 27, 1989: Yukon elder Annie Ned of Whitehorse is awarded the Order of Canada.

  • December 28, 1989: Former Yukon commissioner Doug Bell is awarded the Order of Canada.

Continue to January 1990