Monday, February 12, 1997

HMCS Yellowknife

In the years to come, Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Yellowknife may often be in the national news spotlight.

That is due to the type of assignment she is slated to undertake after being launched in Halifax in the spring. The Canadian navy has plans for her to patrol our Pacific coastline.

Her first captain, Lt.-Cmdr. Doug Bancroft, says the city's namesake is "going to be a workhorse of the fleet, in domestic operations at least."

On board will be extra accommodations for RCMP or Department of Fisheries and Oceans personnel during coastal surveillance.

With an expected lifespan of 30 years, HMCS Yellowknife will be representing our city -- and the territory -- on the high seas. She is to be one of 12 new Canadian ships bearing the name of a city in every province and the two territories.

Considering the number of cities in Canada, this is indeed an honor as well as a prestigious means of keeping the city's name in the minds of Canadians.

There is going to be a ceremony, to which we are all welcomed, next January in Victoria when HMCS Yellowknife is commissioned.

But Bancroft can't wait for us to meet the crew. So he is planning on bringing a number of them to Caribou Carnival this March.

All but two of the ship's crew are naval reservists. Bancroft has sailed with some of them for many years -- such as the chief engineer, who happens to be a woman, which is not unusual considering the number of women going to sea in our naval reserve.

HMCS Yellowknife's sailors will not only serve their ship well but will also be our ambassadors and as such merit our full support. (12/Feb/97)

Well kept secret

The City of Yellowknife certainly didn't waste any money informing the ratepayers of a long-term borrowing plebiscite held last Thursday.

The plebiscite passed with a turnout of only five per-cent of eligible voters. The city made no credible effort to let people know about the vote. Previous plebiscites have proven that, given half a chance, ratepayers don't like going into debt.

If the city was afraid that the request to borrow money would be turned down, what better strategy than to tell no one. (12/Feb/97)

Buying local

Wal-Mart isn't known for supporting local business. In fact, the appearance of its monster stores have often marked the decline of the commercial core of many a North American town.

The appearance of Tuaro Dairy milk on the refrigerator shelves of Yellowknife's Wal-Mart, then, is more than just welcome -- it's a sign that, at least up here, things may be changing.

It's still not easy to find Tuaro products in this city. Too few grocers care enough to support the NWT's only dairy and Wal-Mart may still represent a threat to some businesses. But it's a start. (12/Feb/97)