As an attempt is being made in a certain quarter to create the impression that Capt. George Black, Conservative candidate for election to Parliament, is an outsider and non-resident of Yukon, the Campaign Committee has decided to issue the following statement for the information of the few in Yukon who may not be familiar with the facts in that regard and so might be misled by such propaganda.
George Black was born in New Brunswick. His boyhood was spent with the fishermen and farmers on the Atlantic coast. He studied law at Fredericton, the capital of the Province, and within a few years after being admitted to the bar joined the great stampede to the Klondike gold fields, coming into Yukon in March, 1898.
In 1899 he discovered gold and staked discovery claim on Livingstone Creek, a tributary of Big Salmon River. Two years later he turned over his holdings to his partners and proceeded to Dawson City, working his way north as a deckhand on one of the old Yukon steamers. Arriving at Dawson it transpired that the charterers of the boat had no money to pay the crew. His knowledge of Admiralty law stood him in good stead and the first case for seamen's wages was started in the Admiralty Court of Yukon. That brought him business at once as a number of river boats had been laid up that fall without paying their crews and the seamen's rights to an Admiralty lien had been overlooked.
Mr. Black was soon recognized as a leader, both in law and in politics. An active opponent of the government of that day. the great majority of his clients were miners and wage earners. From the outset Mr. Black advocated an elective Yukon Council and lien laws for the protection of miners', loggers' and mechanics' wages. He has seen all these things come to pass. Elected a member of the Yukon Council for three consecutive terms, he was one of the committee to draft the Yukon Placer Mining Act, passed by Parliament in 1906, while Yukon was represented by Dr. Alfred Thompson, whose election Mr. Black strongly supported. As a member of the Yukon Council Mr. Black drew and succeeded in having enacted the Miners' Lien Law and the Loggers' Lien Law. Both measures have been the means of recovering large sums of money for wage earners. Prior to the enactment of those laws it was a common occurrence for men to work all winter at the mines and in the woods and to have to stand by and see the creation of their labour in gold and logs and wood seized by mortgagees and creditors or made off with by unscrupulous employers while the miners and labourers got nothing.
In 1904 Mr. Black was married at Dawson, and his wife needs no introduction to Yukoners. Taking a leading part in all movements looking to the advancement and betterment of Yukon she has endeared herself to all. Mrs. Black has made a specialty of advertising Yukon. She has had a number of beautiful slides made depicting the scenery, the life, the flowers and products of Yukon and has shown them throughout Canada, the United States and in England, and by her charming descriptions of the Northland has without doubt been the means of attracting many visitors to this land of the midnight sun.
In 1913 Mr. Black was appointed Commissioner of Yukon and during his term of office the country enjoyed a period of genuine expansion. Roads, bridges, ferries and public buildings were constructed. River navigation was improved and the laws were fairly and justly administered. The public service was reorganized and a large number of unnecessary offices done away with. Prospectors were furnished transportation by the government and given practical assistance and encouragement in their work.
During the Great War Mr. Black enlisted for active service, and, with many Yukon men, proceeded to France. As to his record and conduct in the army, the committee refers anyone seeking information to the men now in Yukon who served with him.
At each of the three General Elections in Canada since the war, the elections of 1921, 1925, and 1926, Capt. Black has been elected to represent Yukon in the House of Commons, and, as a member of Parliament, he has established and maintained a reputation as a tireless worker on behalf of Yukon.
At the time of his first election the silver camp of Mayo was just getting into its stride. One of his first duties was to introduce and have passed an amendment to the Yukon Act, the constitution of Yukon Territory, giving Yukoners the same rights to jury trials and otherwise in civil actions as are enjoyed by people in other parts of Canada. Then after consulting with the mine owners, operators and miners of the Territory, he drafted, introduced and succeeded in having passed by Parliament the Yukon Quartz Mining Act, making secure titles to mining property and putting the laws regulating lode mining on a sound basis and no longer subject to change by Order-in-Council passed at Ottawa without consulting the people whose rights are most affected.
In all of the three Parliaments of which Cept. Black has been a member he has been on the special committee appointed to deal with Pensions and Soldiers' affairs. He has devoted a great deal of time and attention to this work and is a consistent advocate of generous treatment of disabled returned men and their dependents.
Capt. and Mrs. Black reside at Dawson, where they have a comfortable home, and where, as throughout their whole lives in Yukon, their hospitality is well known. Capt. Black maintains a law office at Dawson and practices in the Yukon Courts. Each summer since being elected to Parliament he has made it a point to visit the various parts of the Territory and to keep in close touch with local conditions. Each fall shortly before the close of navigation he proceeds to Vancouver, thus avoiding the long, slow trip out over the trail, At Vancouver he is a member of a law firm and practices in the Courts of British Columbia until the opening of Parliament. Sessions of Parliament usually continue from four to six months every year. With each year spent as above stated it is ridiculous to refer to Capt. Black as anything but a thorough going Yukoner. Probably no man has had a wider or more continuous and practical experience in Yukon public affairs, and certainly there is none better qualified to represent the Territory in Parliament.
Dated June 24th, 1930.
WILLIAM S. DRURY, Whitehorse, Y. T.
MATTHEW WATSON, Carcross, Y. T.
THOMAS MCKAY, Mayo, Y. T.
DAN. COATES, Dawson, Y. T.