Hougen Group

Audrey McLaughlin

When Audrey McLaughlin loaded her pickup truck and headed west from Ontario in 1979, she could not have imagined the roller-coaster ride that in ten years would take her into Canadian history book.

Ontario-born Audrey Brown married a mink rancher, Don McLaughlin, when she was just 18. Soon she found herself living in an old farm house with two kids and hundreds of mink to look after. She left the relationship in 1972 and moved to Toronto to become the executive director of the city's Canadian Mental Health Association.

By 1979, she was once again ready for change. The call of the mountains beckoned and she drove the Alaska Highway in her new maroon half-ton pickup. In Whitehorse, she started a consulting business - working on projects such as child welfare legislation and conducting research on land claims and aboriginal self-government.

By 1987, the political landscape in the Yukon was undergoing dramatic change as Erik Nielsen's 30-year career, as the Conservative member of parliament, ended.

The door was now open to new faces with new ideas. Audrey was recruited to run for the NDP nomination in the coming by-election.

On the third ballot at the NDP's Yukon party convention, McLaughlin surprised everyone with a victory over favourite son, Maurice Byblow.

Until then, her only political experience, apart from 17 years of working behind the scenes for the NDP, was to run for Whitehorse city council. She lost.

In the federal by-election of 1987, she beat the Liberal candidate, former Mayor Don Branigan, by 332 votes and was on her way to Ottawa.

During her first two years in office, McLaughlin served as the NDP critic for Northern Development, Tourism, the Constitution and Revenue Canada. In 1988, she became chair of the party caucus.

Then, after just two years as a federal MP, she ran for the leadership of the party, after Ed Broadbent resigned. To everyone's surprise, she beat Dave Barrett, the former Premier of B.C., on the fourth ballot. Audrey McLaughlin entered the history books on that day in December of 1989, as the first female leader of a national political party.

Some views she held strongly, and she was not afraid to go against her party's official position. She opposed the proposed Meech Lake constitutional accord because - she said - it would forever prevent the Yukon from becoming a province. The Meech Lake accord died.

In the 1993 federal election, she retained the Yukon riding, but the NDP lost its official party status in the House of Commons. In April 1994, she stepped down as party leader, but remained interim leader until her successor, Alexa McDonough, was chosen at the NDP convention in Ottawa in 1995.

McLaughlin remained a member of parliament until 1997. After her retirement, she served as President of the Socialist International Women and was appointed special representive for the Government of Yukon on circumpolar affairs.

From her office in the country's only log skyscraper, the Ontario native, who chose the Yukon as her home, has made a significant mark on the Canadian political landscape.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

nielsen1

Erik and Shelley Nielsen in Whitehorse 1984.

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Letter dated August 30, 1979 when Erik Nielsen became acting Prime Minister.

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Erik and friends on a goose hunting trop to Nisutlin Bay near Teslin.

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Erik on a swing at Army Beach, Marsh Lake 1954. - P.J. Nielsen and Marg Hougen looking on.

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The Nielsen Family 1961 - Erik, Roxanne, Rick, P.J. and Lee.

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C. Supt Harry Nixon congratulating Roxanne on joining the RCMP - proud father looks on.

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Leader of the opposition, Brian Mulroney, addressing the crowd in Whitehorse at Erik's 25th anniversary in the H of C.

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Marg and Rolf Hougen joined Erik and Shelley for dinner at their home in Kelowna 2006.

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Chief Charlie Abel, Erik Nielsen, Joe Netro in Old Crow.

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P.J. and Erik prior to a RCAF Mess Hall dinner 1954.

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Erik talking to George Bush Senior, then U.S. Vice President.

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Erik with brother Leslie in Ottawa during his swearing in as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada.

Erik Nielsen

From June of 1957 until April of 1958, he ran in three federal elections. In less than a year, this Yukoner lost and won more elections than most politicians do in a lifetime.

Erik Nielsen's life as a politician is the stuff legend, except most of it is true. The young lawyer came to the Yukon in 1952, and he brought with him a distinguished war record. As a pilot in the RCAF during World War II, he flew 23 missions with a Lancaster bomber squadron. Then, as a commissioned pilot/officer, he flew 33 bombing missions over Europe, including the epic D-Day invasion in 1944. Nielsen was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, but that was just the beginning.

In 1957, he won the Progressive Conservative nomination and headed into the June federal election against long time Liberal incumbent, Aubrey Simmons. When the vote was counted in the Yukon, Erik had a 52-vote lead. At the time, however, members of the Armed Forces overseas could designate their voting riding. One hundred and 77 voted in the Yukon riding. When that vote was counted, Simmons won the election, by 70 votes. Nationally, under John Diefenbaker, the Conservatives formed a minority government.

But it wasn't over in the Yukon. The local conservatives filed a petition claiming numerous voting irregularities, including that of seven people having voted twice. Even the winning Liberals agreed that the election was flawed. In December of 1957, a by-election was held in the Yukon. This time, Nielsen won by a slim 128-vote margin. He was now a member of the minority federal government.

Having toured the Yukon in his private plane during the previous two elections, Nielsen kept his engines running. Good thing. In April of 1958, Diefenbaker called yet another federal election. Erik Nielsen and Aubrey Simmons were again on the hustings, for the third time in 10 months.

This time, Nielsen won the Yukon seat by a margin of nearly 700 votes. The Progressive Conservatives won a huge majority nationally, and Erik Nielsen began a thirty-year career which took him further, politically, than any Yukoner had gone before.

As a member of the largest majority government in Canadian history, he became known in Ottawa as Yukon Erik. Slowly but surely, he was making a name for both himself and the territory he presented.

In May of 1958, after the Conservative landslide victory in the federal election, Erik Nielsen was selected by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to address the reply to the Speech from the Throne. It was a small, but important gesture. Nielsen would become a confidant of the Prime Minister, a supporter and friend for the rest of Dief's days.

It would stand the Yukon in good stead, as federal eyes turned northward for the first time since the gold rush. A 'roads to resources' program was established, which eventually included the building of the Dempster Highway, the Skagway road, and upgrades to the Alaska and Haines highways. Dawson City became a national historic site. Nielsen also made the first federal proposal to allow the Yukon and NWT a seat each in the senate. It was a heady time for the young lawyer-turned-politician from the Yukon.

In 1962, after four years with the largest majority in Canadian history, the conservatives were hammered in the federal election. They were barely able to form a minority government. Nielsen easily won the Yukon seat, but he knew yet another federal election was not far off. A year later, in 1963, Nielsen fought his fifth election in six years, certainly some sort of parliamentary record. Again, Yukon Erik won handily, but the Diefenbaker government was defeated. As the Liberals under Lester Pearson assumed power, Nielsen became a member of the opposition. It's a role the feisty lawyer seemed to enjoy and would earn him yet another nickname...Hawk of the House.

The mid-60s heralded a tumultous time in Canadian politics, and the member of parliament for the Yukon would be at the centre of it all.

By 1964, Erik Nielsen was considered a veteran on Parliament Hill. He'd been there for seven years. The Liberals were in power. As a member of the official opposition, Nielsen thought it his duty to challenge the government at every turn. And to embarrass if if he could.

But never in his wildest dreams did the Yukon MP think he'd be the spark that kindled a wild-fire of scandal in the Liberal party. Nielsen had developed a select group of sources. This paid off when he learned that Liberal political aides in Quebec were receiving kickbacks in exchange for political favours.

His revelations rocked Ottawa. Then, when he discovered that a notorious Montreal drug dealer, Lucien Rivard, had been allowed to water a skating rink outside the confines of his prison cell and escaped to the US, the scandal resulted in a judicial inquiry. The Liberal justice minster Guy Favreau was forced to resign. The Liberals were in disarray. Nielsen was dubbed by the media...Hawk of the House.

The result was yet another federal election, in November of 1965. Nielsen fought and won his sixth election in eight years. But, the Conservatives, under Diefenbaker, lost and Nielsen was again a member of the official opposition. Not until 1979 would he be a member of the governing party. That year, under leader Joe Clarke, the Tories held power for a mere nine months. Nielsen joined the cabinet as Minister of Public Works. In 1980, the Liberals were returned to office. It would be four more years before Yukon Erik would again taste the fruits of power.

It seems a distant memory now, but it was only fourteen years ago that the Conservatives, under Brian Mulroney, were swept into office with the largest majority government in history. Along with it, the political fortunes of the member for the Yukon rose and fell in three short years.

Pierre Trudeau had taken a long walk in the snow. John Turner took a short stroll to lead the Liberal party into the federal election of 1984. Both were political veterans with political baggage. On the other hand, Brian Mulroney was a fresh face on the national scene, and he led the Progressive Conservatives to a stunning landslide victory.

When it came to politics, Mulroney's closest advisor was Erik Nielsen. In September of that year, the member of parliament for the Yukon achieved his highest office. Yukon Erik was appointed Deputy Prime Minister. He was also given the job of re-organizing all aspects of the way federal departments operated. For a time, he also held the post of defense minister when Bob Coates was forced to resign. He was also fisheries minister for a short time when John Fraser was forced to resign.

Nielsen, backed by Mulroney, was arguably the most powerful politician in the country. But the hodge-podge collection of conservatives, including separatists from Quebec, long time political hacks from Ontario, and alienated liberals from the west, proved an unwieldy bunch. As Nielsen had revealed Liberal scandals in the 60s and 70s, now the Liberals were doing the same to the Conservatives. Cabinet ministers were forced to resign. Back-benchers were caught using their political power to personal advantage.

As Deputy Prime Minister, Nielsen was forced to defend Sinclair Stevens in the House of Commons as the opposition accused the cabinet minister of using his ministerial office for personal benefit. It's likely Nielsen knew he was defending the indefensible. What became known as the 'Stevens affair' in 1986, got Nielsen to thinking about his political future.

Then the press revealed excerpts a from private interview Nielsen gave in 1973. They charged that Nielsen received much of his information about Liberal scandals back in the '60s by installing listening devises in the Liberal caucus rooms. Nielsen vehemently denied the charge, but the resulting furor in the House of Commons prompted Brian Mulroney to force Nielson to offer an apology. Reluctantly, Yukon Erik stood in the House of Commons and, looking at the Prime Minister, he apologized.

Shortly thereafter, Nielsen announced that he would be leaving federal politics before the next federal election. His friendship with Mulroney was shattered. His love of the House of Commons turned to disgust. After he resigned on January 19th, 1987, he wrote a book whose title reveals the thoughts of this 30-year veteran of the political wars in Ottawa. It was called "The House is Not a Home".

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

 

See also: Leslie Nielsen

Richard Finnie

When I first met him in the late 1960s, he liked to be called Klondike Dick. Richard Finnie had a soft spot for Dawson City where he was born in 1906. His father O.C.S. Finnie was a mining recorder at the time. His maternal grandfather Richard Roediger was founder of the Dawson Daily News in 1899.

But Klondike Dick didn’t spend that much time in the Klondike. The family moved to Ottawa in 1909 when his father became inspecting engineer for the Department of the Interior and later served as director of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon until his retirement in 1931.

From there Richard began his beat, which was the entire North. He carried both still and motion picture cameras. He served as an assistant radio operator under Captain Bernier on board the Canadian government ship “Arctic” first in 1925.

Then in 1928 he took the first official motion picture of the Arctic’s expedition. It was the first in a long line of professional films by Richard Finnie. One photo shows a comical Richard Finnie, dressed in only a bathing suit diving off the wooden ship into an open lead in the ice-covered waters, probably the first Polar Bear swim.

In 1939 he produced a film in Fort Rae entitled “Dogrib Treaty”. Then in 1942 he produced two films which have contributed a great deal to Northern history about the Canol pipeline and the Alaska Highway, both of which gained much acclaim.

His book “Canada Moves North” was described by Stefansson as "the best general book about northern Canada". Finnie retired as official historian and film producer for Bechtel Corporation in 1968 after 25 years covering in word and picture Bechtel’s international construction projects. During Finnie’s 25 years with the company he produced more than 60 films often being his own cameraman as well as writer, director and narrator. His subjects included the first major Athabasca oilsands development in Northern Alberta.

Klondike Dick Finnie was a fellow of the Artic Institute of North America and a honorary member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers. Richard Sterling Finnie, a resident of Belvedere, California since 1951, died at his home on February 2, 1987, at the age of 80.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

1987a

HOUGEN FORMS GROUP TO OPERATE RAILWAY, 1987.

1987c

Left to Right: Roy Minter, Ray Pederson, Pres. Princess Tours, Joe Becker, Atlas Tours, John Bruk, trilon Bank Corp., Bill Feero, Mayor of Skagway, Rolf Hougen, Kirk Lanterman, Pres. Holland American/Westours, Bill Sheffield, former Governor of Alaska - M

Rolf Hougen Forms Group to Operate Railway

HOUGEN FORMS GROUP TO OPERATE RAILWAY

"We must dig our heels in. The White Pass railroad must run again." With this preamble, Whitehorse businessman Rolf Hougen announced Friday in a speech to the joint Alaska-Yukon Chambers of Commerce, that he had put together a high-powered board of directors who would commit themselves to getting the White Pass and Yukon Railway back on the rails as a tourist operation - if certain conditions were met.

From the Whitehorse Star:
Mr. Hougen and the Train

Even if you're never done more than stand in awe as that old steam locomotive No. 73 came puffing into Whitehorse, you will probably roundly applaud Rolf Hougen's determination to get the White Pass and Yukon Route back on the rails. Talking to the man, and watching the fire in his eye, you have to believe that if anyone can achieve that dream, he can. Heck, anyone who could assemble the Board of Directors he has, and in less than 48 hours, could probably fuel the train himself. Hougen certainly seems to have covered the bases. He can probably expect solid support from the governments of both Alaska and the Yukon, represented by Bill Sheffield and David Joe. The presence of the President of Westours would indicate that Hougen will not have Don Primi's problem in getting commitments from the tour operators to use the train once it's running again. And the rest of the high-placed Board merely underlines Hougen's solid international status as an entrepreneur.

Yukoners know, however, that Rolf Hougen does not deal in fantasy. He is a businessman, and even if the love of history is a major piston driving his engine on this project, if his figures tell him it can't work, he won't do it. But like him, we want to believe it can work, and eagerly look forward to the day old 73 comes roaring across Second Avenue once again. May it be soon.
1987b

Mme. Sauve, Governor General of Canada presented Rolf Hougen with the Insignia of an Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.) at a ceremony held in the Senate chambers, 1987.

Mme. Sauve

Mme. Sauve, Governor General of Canada presented Rolf Hougen with the Insignia of an Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.) at a ceremony held in the Senate chambers. Presentations are usually made at Government House but it was under renovations. The Citation read "A Yukoner, this businessman is a founder and Director of Canadian Satellite Communications Inc. and President of several other companies based in the North. Through his business activities, he has had a significant impact not only on the economy of the Territory, but also on that of the country as a whole. He is active in politics and in community affairs, serving as Chairman of the Yukon Research and Development Institute and as Vice-Chairman and Director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce."
1987d

Yukoner Award, 1987.

Yukoner Award

From the Whitehorse Star:
Rewarding Experience

Whitehorse businessman Rolf Hougen (left) received the Yukoner Award Friday from Dave Philpott, executive director of the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon. The award recognizes outstanding individual efforts towards tourism in the territory. Hougen heads up a high-powered syndicate that hopes to buy the moribund White Pass and Yukon Railway and transform it into a tourist train.
1987e

Ambassador of France Philippe Husson, 1987.

Ambassador Phillipe Husson of France

Ambassador Phillipe Husson of France visits the Yukon on July 29, 1987 and is flown by helicopter to the French owned Mount Skukum Mine near Annie Lake. He visited the mine & plant and witnessed the pouring of a 30 kilo gold brick valued at $300,000.00. He was accompanied by Rolf Hougen, Honorary Consul of France
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Delille, Father Mouchet, 1987.

Father Mouchet

Consul General of France, Rene De Lille presenting to Father Mouchet the "Order of National Merit." The reception was held at the residence of Commissioner and Judy McKinnon.
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Margaret admiring a child in a baby carriage - Beijing, 1987.

Hougens Travel to Shanghai

In May of 1987 Marg and Rolf traveledfirst to Shanghai and walked the streets for a week. They stayed in the old "Peace" Hotel on the bund where they stayed in 1972. Later they flew to Canton & Hong Kong. Then to Chunking (Chinquong) and down the Yangtze River, through the three gorges to Yichang and flew from Wuhan to Beijing. The dreary, dark China of 1966, 1972 has changed to bright lights, gungho spirit and great enthusiasm.
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Left to Right: Commissioner Ken McKinnon, Father Mouchet, Sue and Alex Van Bibber, Johnnie Johns, Elijah Smith, 1987.

Commissioners Awards

Commissioners Awards are presented for volunteer services in a community, public service and bravery. The nominations come from the public and are reviewed by the Commissioners Awards Committee. Presentations are usually made on New Years Day at the Commissioners Levee.

The Whitehorse Star Reports in 1987

 
January
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
 → January 22, 1987
Erik Nielsen, the Yukon's MP for almost 30 years, resigns his seat in the House of Commons (January 19, 1987). A few days later (January 22, 1987), Nielsen is named president of the Canadian Transport Commission.
January 29, 1987 Jack and Agnes Andison are selected Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1987.
February
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
 → June 12, 1987
CHON FM arrives in Dawson City (February 26, 1987). In June, the Yukon's native broadcasting society which operates CHON-FM has received five out of 12 awards offered by the National Aboriginal Communications Society for media excellence in television and radio (June 12, 1987).
March
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
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
 → November 4, 1987
 → November 25, 1987
 → December 23, 1987
 → December 30, 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
 → October 23, 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 accomplished. The dyke was initiated after the 1979 flood, the worst in Dawson's history.
May
May 1, 1987
 → May 27, 1987
 → September 14, 1987
 → October 26, 1987
 → December 23, 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
 → August 5, 1987
 → October 6, 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 26, 1987 The S.S. Klondike turns 50.
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
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 17, 1987 Northern Television Systems of Whitehorse (WHTV) plans to form a partnership with Toronto-based Canadian Satellite Communications and provide cable for more subdivisions and 10 rural communities by the fall of 1988.
June 26, 1987 The official opening of the "skywalk" between Shopper's Plaza and Hougen's is celebrated.
July
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 in a motor accident July 13, 1987. He was 81.
July 17, 1987 Art Pearson is elected president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce.
July 21, 1987
 → August 11, 1987
Audrey McLaughlin wins the byelection and becomes a successor to Yukon M.P. Erik Nielsen (July 21, 1987). August 11, 1987 Audrey McLaughlin is officially sworn in in Ottawa as Yukon's member of Parliament.
August
August 4, 1987 The 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
September 23, 1987 The pope visits Fort Simpson, NWT.
September 24, 1987 The Yukon Municipal Board recommends the expansion of Dawson.
October
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
November 6, 1987
 → November 10, 1987
The City Council turns down a proposal for underground parking development made by Rolf Hougen (November 6, 1987). The City promises its own parking development (November 10, 1987).
November 16, 1987
 → November 30, 1987
A 5.3 earthquake marks the beginning of a series of earthquakes over two weeks in the Whitehorse area (November 16, 1987). 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, 1987).
November 17, 1987 The Yukon cabinet approves extension of Dawson City's boundary: the town becomes 3,5 larger January 1, 1988.
November 27, 1987 Yukon archeologist Bill Irving dies at the age of 60.
December
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.

Other News From 1987

  • Marg and Rolf vacation in Hawaii, Big Island and Maui January 22 – February 13.
  • March 29 – Marg and Rolf visit San Francisco, Sonoma and the Napa Valley
  • Kelly Hougen and Heather Chambers are married on April 25.  They honeymoon on a Caribbean cruise.
  • May 5 – 25 – Rolf and Marg travel to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Yangtze River cruise and Guangzhou (Canton)
  • Rick Nielsen and Maureen are married on June 14.  They honeymoon in Portugal.
  • Rolf and Marg Hougen attend a Board of Directors meeting in Yellowknife June 26 – 29.
  • NorthwesTel board meeting in Dawson City June 30 – July 2.
  • Rene Delille, Consul General of France presents France’s Order of Merit to Father Mouchet.
  • Ambassador Philippe Husson of France visits the Yukon and the French owned Mount Skukum Gold Mine near Annie Lake.
  • Marg and Rolf Hougen are guests at the Calgary based “Spruce Meadows” Masters Show Jumping Competition – September 11 – 13
  • Annual meeting of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Ottawa September 26 – 28.  Lloyd McGinnis, Chairman, Rolf Hougen elected 2nd Vice Chairman.
  • Marg and Rolf attended a Duke of Edinburgh dinner in Vancouver with Prince Philip present.
  • Rolf Hougen spoke to the Yukon Chamber’s annual meeting in Dawson City, outlining a plan to “save” the White Pass Railway.  He put together a board of directors that included Bill Sheffield, former Alaska Governor, Kirk Landerman, President Holland America, Frank Turpin, President Alaska Railroad, John Bruk, Chairman Asia Pacific Foundation, Roy Minter, former V.P. White Pass, Bob Wyman, Chairman Pemberton Securities (financial advisor to the group), David Joe, lawyer, Ray Pederson, President Princess Tours, Bill Feerd, Mayor of Skagway, Joe Becker, Atlas Travel.  Negotiations with the owners of White Pass commenced.
  • Rolf and Marg attended a meeting of the Asia Pacific Foundation in Quebec City October 21 – 22.
  • Rolf Hougen was installed as an Officer of the Order of Canada  by Governor General Jeanne Sauve in the Senate Chambers in Ottawa.  Later Ambassador Jan Bremen hosted a dinner for Marg and Rolf and attended by friends, Brig. Herb Love and Anna, Ted and Nicky Harrison who was awarded the Order on the same day, Kay and Maurice Haycock, Guy and Shirley Marcoux, Bob and Joyce Choate, Erik and Shelley Nielsen, Maj/Gen Gerry Meuser and Betty.  October 28, 1987.
  • Marg and Rolf attended the Vancouver Consular ball with their guests Dr. Gorden and Doris Harris, Vin and Lata Sood, Bob and Dorothy Wyman.
  • Hougen’s hosted the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” serving French cheese and Beaujolais Nouveau.  Thierry Rosset, French Trade Commissioner in attendance.  December 7.
  • Rolf Hougen, a director, attended two days of Asia Pacific Foundation meetings in Vancouver.