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One on one with Claus

Nice wins over naughty / problems recruiting elves

Dawn Ostrem
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 21/01) - An an exclusive on-the-job interview with Santa Claus this week the busy Christmas icon released record-breaking statistics on the good versus naughty comparison.

A perfect "good" year was almost had as the tally came in but the end result proved 99 per cent good and one per cent bad.

Who are the naughty?

"You run into the odd ones that say they don't believe I am Santa and pull my beard," Claus said. He usually does not see very many, for there is only one per cent of the population to see.

Claus was brief in the interview, seeing as Christmas comes only next week. He said he is keenly aware of the Northwest Territories' wish list as the North Pole is in closer-than-most proximity to places like Yellowknife.

Also, because Claus has close ties with Kam Lake MLA and Speaker of the legislative assembly Tony Whitford, he also commands the respect of all MLAs.

"I will be spending my off-season this year visiting Ottawa," he revealed, referring to his low-profile political affiliations. "To get more money for a new road, new bridge, more doctors and nurses."

At the moment, however, Claus has his own set of problems.

He is having a tough time recruiting elves to his North Pole workshop. To compensate, he said, Mrs. Claus has taken to the Internet to keep up on toy trends and maintain subsidiary companies such as Playstation and Arctic Cat.

"It is hard to get elves that want to do that any more," Claus explained. "We are short of doctors, teachers and elves."

Claus said many elves have come in on locum but that does not guarantee they will have the expertise to make high-end toys in the workshop.

He said many have complained of the isolation and living conditions.

"We are going to try that fly-in, fly-out thing," Claus said, adding he may have to contract a Northern airline as the reindeer have an unbreakable, eternal union agreement that states they need only work one night a year.