Hougen Group



The McPherson RCMP Patrol which travelled from Dawson to McPherson and back again. Left to right: Indian Peter [Semple], Constable Pasley, Staff Sergeant Dempster, Indian Jimmy [Simon], and Constable Tyack. Date: March 19, 1920. Yukon Archives. Claude & M


Portrait of Inspector Dempster of the RCMP. Date: ca. 1930. Yukon Archives. Claude & Mary Tidd fonds, #7469.

Lost Patrol

The most northerly highway in North America, the Dempster, roughly follows a route taken by early North West Mounted Police patrols between Dawson City and Fort McPherson. It is named for Corporal Jack Dempster, because he led the expedition to find the Lost Patrol.

In 1905, the NWMP began a yearly winter patrol of some 550 miles over some of the toughest, coldest terrain in Canada.  These patrols, though very tough on men and dogs, went without incident until 1911.  The patrol that year was led by Inspector Fitzgerald, with Constables Kinney, Taylor and ex-Constable Sam Carter.  They began the return journey from Fort McPherson to Dawson on December 21, 1910.  They had three dog-teams, totalling 15 dogs and provisions to last about 25 days.

Somewhere around the Little Wind and Hart rivers, they lost their way.  The winter conditions were severe and their rations were getting low.  So it was decided on January 18 to return to Fort McPherson, a distance of about 250 miles.  Soon, the provisions had run out.  They began to kill the dogs one by one for food.  With all the dogs dead, they began to boil their buckskin thongs and dog harnesses.

Within 35 miles of Fort McPherson, Kinney and Taylor could go no further.  Fitzgerald and Carter carried on.  Within 25 miles of the village, Carter, unable to continue, died.  Fitzgerald laid his body in the snow and covered his face with a handkerchief.  Fitzgerald made it only a few hundred yards more before he too lay down and waited for death.  He had time to scratch his will on a crude piece of paper.

In February, when the party failed to arrive in Dawson, Corporal Dempster, along with three Constables and an Indian guide, were ordered to begin a search.  They left Dawson on February 28th, 1911.  On the 12th of March, they found a snow-covered trail on the Little Wind River and followed it finding the bodies of the four policemen.

Jack Dempster went on to become an Inspector and served the force in the Yukon for 37 years.  He retired in 1934 and died in Vancouver in 1965. The highway named for him, running from the Klondike Highway at mile 26 to Fort McPherson and beyond, was opened by Public Works minister Erik Nielsen on August 18th, 1979.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin


A group from Ft. McPherson attend the official opening of the Dempster Highway. Erik Nielsen, centre, G.I. and Martha Cameron with Ch/Supt. Harry Nixon RCMP in the back row., 1979,
Click for larger view.

The Dawson Flood of ‘79

In the spring of 1979, ice jams in the Yukon, Indian, and Klondike rivers caused the build-up of water to over-flow the make-shift sand-bag dykes on the riverfront in Dawson. Around midnight, in spite of efforts to shore up the dykes, the water poured over the banks, enveloping the town and causing extreme damage.

In the morning, as people paddled around town in canoes and small boats, the real extent of damage became clear. Houses floated off their foundations. The water smelled of diesel and sewage. Parks Canada artifacts bobbed down the streets. Trailers were turned upside down by the silty, ice-choked waters. Propane tanks littered the streets.

The waters subsided later in the day. A hole was cut in the dyke to let the waters return to the Yukon river. Then the cleanup began. Parks Canada had 20 properties in the flood plain. Some emerged intact while others floated off their foundations. Over $ 200,000 dollars in damage was recorded by Parks Canada alone.

A dozen homes were written off. Some priceless artifacts from both public and private collections disappeared forever. The Yukon government created a disaster assistance program, flying in over 20,000 pounds of food and equipment the day after the flood. About 270 damage claims were filed, totalling over 2 million dollars. It took most of the summer to restore the town to some semblance of order. But for Parks Canada, restoration projects lasted for years.

It wasn't the first flood in Dawson City's history. Since 1898, 22 floods were recorded, but the one in the spring of 1979 went down in history as one of the worst.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin


Margaret and Karen Hougen looking up Tutshi Lake.


A 1979 photo of the Skagway Road - it is now hard surfaced.

Skagway Road

One day in the mid-seventies, my buddy Cal Waddington and I travelled to a construction site and spent a glorious afternoon in the company of friends who were building the Skagway Road. The work included blasting solid rock faces and moving endless tons of rock and gravel. The road was a mess, but my friend, the late Scotty Munro, was philosophical when he said that all great works of art are a mess until they are finished.

Today, the Skagway Road, better known as Klondike Highway 2, is indeed a work of art. A proud reminder of persistence and creativity. Especially persistence. As far back as 1913, newspaper articles publicized the efforts of both the Yukon and Alaska governments to get the road pushed through.

In August 1913, headlines in Dawson read that the "Auto Road From Skagway to Dawson May Be Opened Soon." The optimism was premature and then some. British Columbia said it would construct the necessary 35 miles of road through the province, but never approved funding, and the project died.

Then, more surveying was done in 1920, and speculation was that the road would be completed in 1921. Nope.

In fact, they did not revive the project until 1961. That year, a crew of Skagway volunteers, and the State of Alaska, began work on the toughest part of the road, blasting through the solid granite of the Coast Mountains. However, except for a rough road built in 1966 for the re-opening of the Venus Mine, nothing happened on the Canadian side until 1974.

From then on, progress was erratic because of constant money woes, several legal challenges by the White Pass Railway and, of course, engineering difficulties, especially on the Alaskan side because of the major problems with blasting through seventeen miles of solid rock to reach the Canadian border.

Between 1970 and 1972, Canada built a new bridge at Carcross and extended the road to the B.C.-Yukon border because of renewed activity at the Venus Mine. In February 1972, Canada agreed to build the remaining thirty-three miles to the Alaska border, and Alaska agreed to construct its remaining nine miles.



The road was completed between Skagway and Carcross in August 1978 but it was open for only a few weeks before it was closed for the winter. The first full summer of use was in 1979.



A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

Roy Minter

When he was transferred to Whitehorse in 1955, the 37-year-old Canadian Army Captain was sure he had arrived in the right place at the right time. Thus, Roy Minter began his lifelong career as a publicist and a public relations man such as the Yukon had seldom seen.

Roy was born in London, England in 1917. As a kid, he moved with his parents to Vancouver. When he was old enough, he joined the Army. He spent some years with the Army in Whitehorse and then left the service to join the White Pass and Yukon Route as a special assistant to the President. He spent the rest of his life promoting the company and the territory.

In 1960, he was a member of the board of directors when the Dawson City festival foundation was formed to stage the rebirth of Dawson as a tourist destination. Roy had played a key role in getting the federal government to invest a large amount of time and money into the project.

Roy became an author, historian, photographer and film producer. He won international awards for two films, "Brave New North" and "Take Four Giant Steps. He also produced the 1967 centennial film called "It’s the Land, Have You Seen It?" as one of the White Pass company’s contributions to Canada’s centennial year.

Roy Minter rarely took a back seat when the Yukon’s name and honour were at stake. In 1966, he helped spearhead the movement called the Klondike Defense Force. It was formed to do battle with the city of Edmonton when they decided to use the Klondike as the theme for their annual city celebrations. It was Roy who convinced Yukon politicians that Edmonton was stealing the Yukon ’s birthright and should be stopped.


In 1965, an attempt by Crown Assets to sell the riverboats’, the Casca and Whitehorse was stopped, largely through the efforts of Roy Minter. In 1974, when those same boats went up in flames, he cried as he watched the raging inferno and said that the Yukon had just lost part of its soul.


Roy was as much attached to the White Pass company as he was to the Yukon. So it is no surprize that he is the author of the most authoritative book on the historic railroad. Published in 1987, "Gateway to the Klondike" is the title of his award-winning tome.

The Roy Minter Fund within the Yukon Foundation, is dedicated to fund those who write about Yukon history.

He was a founding member of the Yukon Foundation and a one hundred thousand-dollar donation is dedicated to recipients who write about the Yukon ’s history.

When he was awarded the Order of Canada in 1991, the citation read, in part:

"He has dedicated himself, since the 1950s, to promoting an appreciation of the Yukon. He has contributed to heritage preservation and tourism in the territory through his involvement in the rail industry, the development of Klondike International Park, the recovery of archival material and the recording of pioneer stories."

Roy Minter died in 1996 at the age of 79.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

The Epp Letter

The long and winding road toward greater political control for elected politicians in the Yukon was often battered by storm clouds. Since the first wholly elected council back in 1909, Yukoner politicians had been demanding more political clout. But the demands always fell on deaf ears in Ottawa and the Yukon’s federally appointed Commissioner continued to run the day-to-day affairs of the Territory. The commish was the boss, the elected councillors mere window dressing.

But that changed in May of 1979 when the federal election brought in the short-lived government of Joe Clark. Jake Epp, a Mennonite from Manitoba, was appointed Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs and became the defacto political boss of the Yukon. But there was no doubt that the real power now lay in the hands of the Yukon’s member of Parliament Erik Nielsen, who was also appointed to the Clark cabinet. Nielsen had long advocated provincial status for the Yukon.

Things began to happen in a hurry and the role of Nielsen was not well hidden. In June of 1979, Yukon Government Leader Chris Pearson wrote to Epp outlining his government's position on responsible government for the territory. He demanded that the commissioner be removed from the executive committee, which ran the day–to-day political affairs of the Yukon. Epp agreed and the die was cast.

Yukon Commissioner Ione Christensen said that, while she did not oppose the changes, she did feel that they would be implemented far too fast. She hinted broadly that she might have to resign. On October 9th, 1979 Epp wrote the now famous Epp letter to Commissioner Christensen.

Epp told Christensen to remove herself from the policy-making process and not participate in day-to-day affairs of the Executive Council. Epp said as commissioner, she must to accept the advice of the Territorial Council in all matters of the Yukon Act which are delegated to the Commissioner.

Epp had fired the Commissioner and on that day, the commissioner became the Lieutenant Governor for the Yukon. But it would not be Christensen. She resigned. The Epp letter also authorized the Yukon government leader to refer to himself as "Premier" and to his cabinet members as "Ministers" if they so wished.

The changes brought the Yukon into line with provincial governments. Elected polticians were now responsible for the policies and expenditures of the Yukon government. The Yukon was fast becoming a province in all but name.


BC Business, 1979.

BC Business Magazine

BC Business Comments:

"Yukoner with faith - and a big stake - in the future of Canada's next province."

Whitehorse businessman, Rolf Hougen, is one of those men who has his fingers in so many pies he's almost running out of fingers. At last count, Hougen is involved in nine Yukon businesses and he's continually branching out into other, newer, fields that not only add to his growing dynasty but which make him a fair amount of money to boot. He's also a director of Alberta power as well as holding a number of other Yukon and national titles. For example, he has held executive positions with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; served 10 years on the executive of the national Progressive Conservative Party; been a founder and director of Heritage Yukon, an affiliate of Heritage Canada; and is one of the leading promoters of the proposed University of Canada North.

Swearing in the new commissioner, 1979.

Yukon Territorial Courtroom

This picture taken in the Yukon Territorial courtroom shows Mr. Justice Maddison swearing in the new Commissioner Ione Christensen who was appointed on Jan 20, 1979 & resigned Oct 10, 1979 over disagreement with the changes brought about by Minister of Northern Development Jake Epp, P.C. In his letter to the Yukon Government the Commissioner's role became similar to a Provincial Lt. Governor, with no executive responsibilities.

L to R: Mme., Margaret, Jean, Rolf & Isabelle.

Hougens Travel in France

During the 1976-77 year that the Hougen family lived in Grenoble, France, Marg & Rolf became great friends of Jean & Mme. Mommessin, one of Burgundies leading wine producers. Jean was the 5th generation to head the firm. They visited Whitehorse in October 1979 along with daughter Isabelle. L to R: Mme., Margaret, Jean, Rolf & Isabelle.

The first female from the Yukon to join the RCMP, 1979.

RCMP Roxanne Nielsen

The first female from the Yukon to join the RCMP is Roxanne Nielsen, seen here shaking hands with RCMP Chief Superintendant, Harry Nixon with her father Erik Nielsen, looking on. Roxanne's grandfather was in the RCMP.

Marg & Rolf Hougen with Dr. Des & Ruth Morrow, 1979.

Dawson City Travels

In early July Marg & Rolf Hougen with Dr. Des & Ruth Morrow traveled to Dawson City, drove up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik. This photo is in the Fort McPherson Graveyard inscribed with the RCMP officers who perished on a dog team patrol from Fort McPherson to Dawson City.

Gillian Campbell, popular English Vaudeville style entertainer, 1979.

Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Gillian Campbell

Gillian Campbell, popular English Vaudeville style entertainer, attended the 1979 Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. Here she greets Victoria Faulkner with Eli Porsild looking on.

The Skagway Road, 1979.

The Skagway Road

The Skagway Road opened 1979. This scene is one of many magnificent views on the 110 mile drive from Whitehorse to Skagway - this picture is at the Tutshi Lake. Margaret Hougen & daughter Karen looking on.

On August 18 1979 the Dempster Highway from Dawson City to Inuvik was officially opened.

Dempster Highway

On August 18 1979 the Dempster Highway from Dawson City to Inuvik was officially opened. In this photo L to R - RNWMP costume; Chris Pearson, Gov't leader; Ione Christensen, Commissioner; Erik Nielsen, Member of Parliament; Dempster relatives; RCMP; Jake Epp, Minister of Northern Development; Inspector Ron Pettit; Chief Spt. Harry Nixon, Aide de Camp. The Highway leaves the Klondike Highway about 25 miles before Dawson City. It crosses the Peel River by ferry near Fort McPherson and the Arctic Red River. In Winter ice bridges are built. From Dawson City to Inuvik is 456 miles (733km). Under Prime Minister Diefenbaker the concept of "Road to Resources" was inaugurated with the Dempster Highway starting in 1959 and completed in 1978.

Swearing in ceremony of the newly elected Yukon Party's Executive Committee.

Yukon Party’s Executive Committee

This picture was taken in October '79 at the swearing in ceremony of the newly elected Yukon Party's Executive Committee. L to R: Doug Graham; Pete Hanson; Chris Pearson, Gov't leader; Dan Lang & Meg McCall.

The Whitehorse Star Reports in 1979

January 11, 1979
 → January 12, 1979
Dawson's city manager Stan Richardson is asked by mayor Vi Campbell to leave the job. Richardson refuses to resign. Dawson Mayor Vi Campbell and deputy mayor Frank Barrett resign January 15, 1979 over "administrative problems within the city office". Stan Richardson resigns as Dawson's city manager, effective March 31, 1979. No official reasons are provided.
January 30, 1979 U.S. funding of the Shakwak Project to pave the Haines Road and the upper Alaska Highway in Canada is threatened to cease past 1979 with the approval of President Carter's 1980 budget.
January 30, 1979
 → June 4, 1979
Yukon MP Erik Nielsen reconsiders his decision to leave federal politics after being promised a cabinet post by Conservative leader Joe Clark. Yukon MP Erik Nielsen becomes the first Yukoner ever named to the federal cabinet when he is appointed Canada's minister of public works on June 4, 1979. Another Yukoner, George Black, was speaker of the House of Commons in the 1930s.
February 1, 1979 The Yukon's health minister, Grafton Njootli steps aside from his official duties after learning he is under police investigation in connection with a forgery incident. Klondike MLA Meg McCall replaces him.
February 2, 1979 Don Branigan is the new mayor of Whitehorse. He defeated Orvin Chippett in a by-election.
February 6, 1979 Willard Phelps becomes one of the Yukon government representatives at talks in Ottawa this week to decide the role the Yukon government will play in land claim negotiations.
February 8, 1979 Gold prices are at a record high.
February 8, 1979 Another era of transportation history comes to a close at Skagway with the final voyage of the M.V. Frank H. Brown with a full crew.
February 19, 1979 Iris Warner is given the 1979 Yukon Heritage Award by the Dawson Museum Society. Warner has been extensively involved in collating and researching historical material for over 20 years.
February 22, 1979 SuperValue expands it 30,000 square store in Quanlin Mall by 10,000 square feet. Official opening is February 28, 1979.
February 26, 1979 Debbie Kerr is Rendezvous Queen 1979.
February 27, 1979 Doug Graham is sworn in as the newest member of Yukon's Executive Committee by Commissioner Ione Christensen.
February 28, 1979 7.5 earthquake on the Richter scale in Alaska is felt throughout the Yukon territory.
February 28, 1979 A new federal government policy on satellite reception will allow Whitehorse television viewers to watch more live stations rather than videotaped shows. CanaSat, a joint venture between Northern Television and Total North Communications already built such a station in Faro. However, it is still illegel since the station picks up an American Channel. The new policy allows Canadian channels only.
March 13, 1979 Public drinking in the streets of Whitehorse will be banned following a decision by City Council members. The drinking ban does not apply to the Indian village as it is considered private property.
March 15, 1979 Sister Eva of the Sisters of Providence is selected citizen of the year by the Whitehorse Kiwanis Club.
March 19, 1979 A Whitehorse recreation complex with an Olympic size swimming pool is proposed to the city.
March 20, 1979 White Pass makes its first move to carry out its threat to close the Yukon's railway by giving six months notice to Faro's Cyprus Anvil mine whose ore it hauls out to the coast.
April 6, 1979 Commissioner Ione Christensen presents a cheque of $5,000 to mayor Don Branigan to relocate and preserve some of Whitehorse's historic buildings. The houses at 105 Elliott St. and 306 Steele St. are two of nine that are designated for preservation by City Council.
April 9, 1979 Al Lueck is elected the Yukon Liberals' candidate for the upcoming federal elections.
April 12, 1979 Following a civic election, Vi Campbell is Dawson City's new mayor.
April 16, 1979 The Standard Oil Company has an agreement to purchase Cyprus Anvil Mine from it's parent, Cyprus Mines of Los Angeles. Andy Von Kursell is Vice-president of Yukon operations.
April 16, 1979 The Selkirk Indian Band at Pelly Crossing considers leaving the territorial education system if Ed Remple is not reinstated as principal of the Pelly River School.
April 16, 1979 Canadian Satellite Systems applies for an experimental license to provide one extra television channel to residents of Dawson.
April 17, 1979 It becomes known that Whitehorse's log skyscrapers on Lambert Street will be torn down when the lot they are standing on is sold. City Council will not save them. City Manager Dave Gairns noted the historic committee said "because they are not regarded as historically significant".
May 3, 1979 "Disaster" is the headline in the Whitehorse Star. A raging flood bursts through the Yukon River dyke at Dawson shortly after midnight. Buildings float. No injuries or fatalities are reported, but damage is estimated at over $5 million. Approximately 80 per cent of the houses are damaged.
May 8, 1979 The Carcross to Skagway Road is opened to the travelling public Monday 7, 1979.
May 14, 1979 The Yukon Arts Council announces the beginning of a fund drive May 12, 1979 to cover some of the costs of a new performing arts centre for Whitehorse.
May 22, 1979 A fire destroys the DCW Trading Post in Dawson City May 19, 1979.
May 23, 1979 For the first time in 16 years the Yukon's government party is also the federal party.
May 23, 1979 Hougen's Ltd. celebrates its 35th anniversary. The Whitehorse Star issues a special 24 page addition to its paper.
May 25, 1979
 → May 31, 1979
 → September 24, 1979
Health Minister Grafton Njootli is again the subject of a police investigation. RCMP investigate a complaint that Njootli physically assaulted a female cab driver. Shortly after, Klondike MLA Meg McCall fills the Executive Committee post vacated May 29, 1979 when Grafton Njootli resigned as Minister of Health and Human Resources. On September 24, 1979, Grafton Njootli is asked to resign from the Progressive Conservative caucus September 23, 1979, after he refused to give an unconditional undertaking to support government legislation.
June 11, 1979 The Whitehorse Maryhouse marks its 25th anniversary.
June 15, 1979 Executive Committee member Howard Tracey announces June 14, 1979 his resignation from his job.
June 21, 1979 The Whitehorse branch of the Royal Canadian Legion elects Billy Osborne to become president, the first woman president in its 52-year.history.
July 3, 1979 The Carcross Community Education Centre closes. Founded by Rev. John Frame, Anglican bishop of the Yukon Diocese, the Chooutla residential school claimed to give its students academic education as well as practical outdoor and vocational skills while living as a tight-knit community with parent-members who were responsible for guiding and serving students. The closure is due to a lack of students.
July 6, 1979 Barry Stuart is appointed chief magistrate for the Yukon.
July 11, 1979 The residents of Elsa and Keno renovate the old Keno Hill Community Hall to set up a mining museum in an effort to preserve the mining history the Keno Hill area.
July 16, 1979 The Klondike Visitor Association spends $15,000 to restore the old Dawson City store.
July 25, 1979 Bottled pop becomes available in Inuvik during summer 1979.
July 31, 1979
 → August 21, 1979
The Dempster Highway is open for traffic with the beginning of ferry service across the Peel River. The official opening ceremony is announced for August 18, 1979, with John Diefenbaker as guest speaker. Alas, John Diefenbaker passes away two days before the opening ceremony. (see also August 21, 1979) on August 16, 1979. A potlatch for late John Diefenbaker is held in Dawson City over the Discovery weekend. It began August 18, 1979 with the official opening of the Dempster Highway which was commemorated as a fulfillment of Diefenbaker's "vision of the North". Cabinet Ministers Jake Epp and Erik Nielsen pay tribute to Diefenbaker at the opening ceremonies.
August 10, 1979 Foothills Oil Pipeline Ltd. Decides to try for an all-land route for its 2,400 km oil pipeline from Fairbanks to Edmonton, instead of the land-ocean route.
August 10, 1979 The Alaska Highway Pipeline panel releases a report according to which the Dempster lateral natural gas pipeline should not be built until adequate reserves of oil and gas have been proofed.
August 22, 1979 According to the Sun, the U.S. energy department recommends construction of the all-American Northern Tier oil pipeline over rival Canadian plans to carry surplus Alaskan oil to the U.S. Midwest.
August 23, 1979 Following accusations from the Carmacks Indian Band, a research of old maps and documentation pieces reveals that the government intended in 1916 to declare the area surrounding the Little Salmon Indian village an Indian reserve. However, the necessary order-in-council never went through.
August 28, 1979 City Council reveals a plan to transform the commercial and industrial downtown waterfront to a livelier "people" place with park areas, restaurant facilities and shops.
September 14, 1979 The Yukon territorial government asks the federal government for half the tax revenue for its heritage fund that will accrue from the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline.
September 14, 1979 Former Whitehorse mayor Gordon Armstrong and his wife Peg celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary.
September 24, 1979 Construction of a $1.1 million twin theatre restaurant-shopping complex begins September 21, 1979 at the corner of Lewes Boulevard and Klondike Road.
September 28, 1979 The Yukon enters the satellite era. A satellite dish on the lawn of the Vocational Centre adds a new dimension to classroom instruction, when live transmission of educational courses from the British Columbia Institute of Technology begins October 1, 1979. The experiment marks a first for Canada.
October 9, 1979 Ottawa changes the role of the Yukon's commissioner so that the commisioner's involvement in matters under territorial jurisdiction is now little more than a formality (similar to provincial Lt. Governors). The commissioner must accept the advice of elected Yukon Territorial Councillors.
October 9, 1979
 → October 10, 1979
Yukon commissioner Ione Christensen announces her intention to resign. Deputy Commissioner Doug Bell takes over October 10, 1979 as interim commissioner.
October 22, 1979 Five politicians from the Yukon's legislature recite three oaths in unison before Deputy Commissioner Doug Bell becoming the territory's first fully elected cabinet.
October 23, 1979 A study by the University of Alberta recommend a community college for the Yukon.
November 19, 1979 CKRW radio station celebrates its 10th anniversary.
November 21, 1979 Rolf Hougen unveils plans for a national television service that would cover the country from Newfoundland to the Yukon. The plan suggests to broadcast 6 channels - three American and three Canadian - via satellite to small communities all across the country.
December 3, 1979 CTV begins broadcasting its BCTV schedule to the North via the Anik B satellite. Programming begins December 14, 1979 on WHTV channel four.
December 3, 1979 Aubrey Simmons, the last Liberal member of Parliament for the Yukon before Erik Nielsen, passes away in Vancouver. His age is assumed to be around 80. He was defeated by Erik Nielsen in 1958 and retired to Vancouver in 1959. Simmons was instrumental in putting together the mining properties that became New Imperial Mines.
December 17, 1979 Archie Gillespie, a pioneer newsman of the Yukon, passes away December 14, 1979.
December 17, 1979 Jack and Mary Nichols of Carcross are named Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1980.
December 31, 1979 The territorial government receives a new symbol for all its operations which is based on a stylized version of the word "Yukon". The new word symbol is in effect as of April 1, 1980.

Other News From 1979

  • On Jan 2nd, White Pass president Jack Fraser met with Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce President Doug Lindsay and the directors to discuss the financially troubled railway. Hugh Faulkner, Minister of Northern Affairs, is studying the request by White Pass for financial assistance.
  • On January 20th, Ione Christensen is appointed Commissioner of the Yukon.
  • Harry Allen, Chairman of the Council for Yukon Indians, threatens to start legal action if the Federal Government proceeds with pipeline construction prior to land claims settlement.
  • In an interview with the Edmonton Journal, Rolf Hougen announces that initial research had been completed verifying the viability of a satellite delivered television service to remote areas of Canada. He had crossed Canada about ten times in the past year promoting, researching and discussing the project.
  • In March in Ottawa, Rolf Hougen met with officials of the CRTC and the Department of Communications to outline his concept of how Canada's north and remote areas could be served by satellite delivered television channels.
  • On March 6th, Rolf Hougen was invited by Jean Jacques Galabru, Consul General of France to become Consul for France.
  • Jon Pierce was the successful aldermanic candidate to fill the post vacated by Mr. Chippett.
  • The United States announced a further delay in starting construction of the Alaska Highway pipeline.
  • There is another wildcat labour strike at the Cyprus Anvil Mine in February.
  • On July 3rd, Erik, Greta and Maureen Hougen left for France to stay with the Blaise family, friends from '76/77, until Aug 20. They stayed in Grenoble and in Britanny.
  • Chris Pearson is the Yukon Government Leader in a Conservative Government. Executive Committee Members are: Dan Lang, Grafton Njootli, Doug Graham and Howard Tracey.
  • Whitehorse City Council consists of Tony Penikett, Jon Pierce, Maggie Heath, Laurent Cyr and Flo Whyard.
  • The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development announces that one hundred and seventeen recreational lots at Judas Creek, Marsh Lake are available by public draw.
  • Stanley James, chief of Carcross Indian Band, negotiates a $250,000 settlement for right-of-way compensation for the Carcross-Skagway road.
  • Phil Fontaine, regional Director of Indian Affairs, announces that DIAND will fund the relocation of the Indian village.
  • Conservative Member of Parliament, Erik Nielsen defeats Allan Lueck, the Liberal candidate and Joe Jack, candidate for the N.D.P. in the federal election. The Progressive Conservatives under leader Joe Clark, form a minority government.
  • Jake Epp is named Minister of Northern Affairs.
  • The RCMP probe the possibility that land in the lottery was illegally acquired by a realtor.
  • John Ferguson, President of Bellanca Corp., of Edmonton announces that the hotel, retail and office space, convention facilities and theatre proposed for the block of land at Second and Wood Street would not proceed "at this time". Partner in the project is Rolf Hougen.
  • A Cessna 180 plane sinks in Schwatka Lake due to a leak in one of the floats.
  • Swede Hanson, Yukon’s Minister of Tourism and Economic Development, writes to the Canadian Transport Commission urging the Federal Government to save the White Pass Railway.
  • Liberal Opposition leader Ian MacKay asks the Yukon Government to take over the troubled White Pass Railway.
  • Joe Clarke’s minority Progressive Conservative Government is defeated. Pierre Trudeau comes out of his announced retirement to lead the Liberal party’s election campaign.
  • Roxanne Nielsen is welcomed by RCMP Superintendent Harry Nixon as a new member of the RCMP.
  • In October, Jean and Mrs. Mommessin, fifth generation wine producers from Macon Finance, and daughter Isabelle visit Marg and Rolf Hougen in Whitehorse. During their stay in France in 76/77, the Hougens visited the Mommessins on many occasions.
  • In October 22nd, a ceremony is held in the foyer of the Territorial Government building to transfer the responsibilities and authorities vested in the commissioner, to Chris Pearson, Government leader. Doug Bell is Yukon administrator.
  • In December, Fred Burnet, Chairman of Cominco, asks Rolf Hougen to join the Board of Directors of Cominco Limited, one of Canada's largest mining companies.