Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Territorial News

The article headlined Bust Involved Multiple Kills was the one that made me sit up and pay attention as I scanned the regional newspaper. It was down in a corner of page five of the weekly Yukon News. You might be thinking that this is a pretty hardbitten justice-comes-out-of-a-gun kind of place if a bust involving multiple deaths warrants only a couple of inches on page five. But then you read the article and realize that the deceased consist of two moose and two caribou, taken without a licence, or perhaps in a national park. It's a poaching bust.

The front page went to a group of First Nations youths portaging a dugout canoe in association with the groundbreaking ceremony for a new cultural centre. Page two is a sympathetic article about the overworked half-time privacy commissioner/access to information officer for the territory. The page three story warns that unregistered cabins (there's a $150 a year lease fee for having a cabin in the Yukon) may be burned down with only six months to a year notice. A cabin owner is angry that his aviation fuel was removed and his collapsible boat was junked. The government says that there are cabins and fuel caches in some places that have been abandoned since the gold rush. You have to have a trapping licence to build a cabin, but you can register an existing cabin and keep up the lease without a trapline. Then we have articles on overuse of the ambulance service in transporting drunks, forest fire prevention rules, and caribou population decline. Later in the issue there are stories about government overspending, Michael Jackson's doctor, and how Facebook and Twitter ruined the mosh pit.

Then there are the classifieds. People have placed wanted ads for 1960s STIHL chainsaw parts, Bugs Bunny DVDs, models for a life drawing class, someone to bag catfood, leftover white paint, an "octangular" piece of glass, someone to teach me Russian, a canoe, a plastic toboggan, and a fresh egg supplier. Someone wants to trade a non-running 1990 Isuzu for some gravel. A hundred fifty dollars gets you a kid-sized two dog mushing sled with working brake. There are no dating personals or escort service ads.

Almost everything featured is in Whitehorse, so take everything above and imagine other people complaining about how 'everything in the territory is centred on the big city and they don't understand our way of life,' and you can imagine life in the Yukon outside of Whitehorse. There are 32,000 people living in the whole of the Yukon territory, 27,000 of them in Whitehorse. That means that outside of the one city there are 5,000 people living in the same area occupied by 100,000,000 in Germany.


Michael5000 said...

Suddenly the Beaver State feels downright sophisticated!

German said...

I don't want to be pedantic, but there are "only" a bit more than 82 million people living in Germany. But who counts ;-)

Aviatrix said...

The statistic came from the German Lodge owner. I took his word for it.