Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada’s three federal territories (the other two are Northwest Territories and Nunavut). The territory is very sparsely populated with it’s about 35,000 people on almost half a million square kilometers. Whitehorse is the territorial capital and Yukon’s only city.
The territory was split from the Northwest Territories in 1898 and was named the “Yukon Territory”. The federal government’s Yukon Act, which received royal assent on March 27, 2002, established “Yukon” as the territory’s official name, though “Yukon Territory” is also still popular in usage and Canada Post continues to use the territory’s internationally approved postal abbreviation of YT. Though officially bilingual (English and French), the Yukon Government also recognizes First Nations languages.
At 5,959 m (19,551 ft), Yukon’s Mount Logan, in Kluane National Park and Reserve, is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest on the North American continent (after Denali in the U.S. state of Alaska). Most of Yukon has a subarctic climate, characterized by long cold winters and brief warm summers. The Arctic Ocean coast has a tundra climate.
Notable rivers include the Yukon River, after which the territory was named, as well as the Pelly, Stewart, Peel, White and Tatshenshini rivers.
Yukon’s historical major industry was mining (lead, zinc, silver, gold, asbestos and copper). The government acquired the land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1870 and split it from the Northwest Territories in 1898 to fill the need for local government created by the population influx of the gold rush.
Thousands of these prospectors flooded the territory, creating a colourful period recorded by authors such as Robert W. Service and Jack London. The memory of this period and the early days of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as the territory’s scenic wonders and outdoor recreation opportunities, makes tourism the second most important industry.
Manufacturing, including furniture, clothing, and handicrafts, follows in importance, along with hydroelectricity. The traditional industries of trapping and fishing have declined. Today, the government sector is by far the biggest employer in the territory, directly employing approximately 5,000 out of a labour force of 12,500, on a population of 36,500.
On 1 May 2015, Yukon modified its Business Corporations Act, in an effort to attract more benefits and participants to its economy. One amendment to the BCA lets a proxy be given for voting purposes. Another change will allow directors to pursue business opportunities declined by the corporation, a practice off-limits in most other jurisdictions due to the inherent potential for conflicts of interest. One of the changes will allow a corporation to serve as a director of a subsidiary registered in Yukon. The legislation also allows companies to add provisions in their articles of incorporation giving directors blanket approval to sell of all of the company’s assets without requiring a shareholder vote. If provided for by a unanimous shareholders agreement, a corporation is not required to have directors at all. There is increased flexibility regarding the location of corporate records offices, including the ability to maintain a records office outside of the Yukon so long as it is accessible by electronic means.
Yukon Nominee Program
- Skilled Worker
- Express Entry
- Critical Impact Worker
- Business Applicant