June 21, 1954 (22nd Parliament, 1st Session)


Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)


Mr. Claxion:

There are two sets of activities centred in the Yukon. The first is the part played mostly by the Royal Canadian Engineers in the maintenance and Qperation of the northwest highway system. The second is the operation of the Northwest Territories and Yukon telegraph system. The first has been carried on since the highway was handed over to the Royal Canadian Engineers in 1946, I believe. While we do not keep the accounts segregated that way any longer, my recollection is that the cost of maintenance and operation of the highway system is about $6 million a year. That would cover about 1,200 miles and it covers a good deal of replacement of capital installations such as bridges, culverts and the like on a more permanent basis. We are doing a steady program of replacement.
The Northwest Territories and Yukon telegraph system supplies all the telecommunication services, civilian and military, in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. Speaking again from memory, I believe there are twenty-one stations in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. They carry all the military traffic, all the government service and most of the commercial. My recollection would be that the amount of revenue they take from handling commercial traffic varies but averages approximately $500,000 a year.

They handle a good many hundred thousand messages for the armed forces, weather stations and other government services, so that these are two very considerable operations, one by the engineers and the other by the signals.

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