Once a playground for 19th century gold speculators, the Yukon is again experiencing a boom as commodities surge and gold prices reach new heights, good news for an incumbent government pushing for its third term.
“Yukoners aren’t really worried about the economy and they haven’t been worried for quite some time,” said Donna Larsen of the Yukon polling firm DataPath Systems. “Things are going very well in the mining industry and that’s trickling down to most Yukoners. They’re spending money, there are jobs out there that are paying well. There’s a general feeling that things are good.”
But while the government may be benefitting from the economic expansion, the frenzied growth is fuelling new concerns. Whitehorse, home to two-thirds of the Yukon’s population, is gripped by a severe housing shortage thanks to a flood of new workers; the territory’s population grew nearly 40% in the past 10 years. Home prices have skyrocketed above $400,000, nearly double what they were in 2004.
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