Stop the presses. (I always wanted to say that.)

In case you haven’t already heard, Yellowknife is going to be without a visitors centre for the foreseeable future.

Imagine that. The largest city in the Northwest Territories, the capital of the territory, the busiest tourist destination in the NWT and no visitors centre.

I was thinking about this when a thought hit me. We could solve most, if not all, of Yellowknife’s problems if we started a territorial-wide petition demanding the GNWT leave Yellowknife. They could pick one of the other communities as a new capital or they could even have a new capital every year.

Since the GNWT saw fit to buy Northern Transportation Company Ltd., all they have to do is send all the barges and boats from Hay River to Yellowknife. We could then load the barges with the legislative assembly, various government buildings and with most of the houses of the politicians, bureaucrats and civil servants. Then the GNWT and its capital could sail off into the sunrise – into the dawn of a bright new era for all concerned.

They could decide to establish the capital in any community of their choosing or they could have a floating capital and spend a year moored at just about every community in the NWT, since most of them are accessible by water. I think that this is a stroke of real genius having a floating capital. Think about it – Yellowknife would no longer be the capital city, so people in the communities who hate or dislike Yellowknife because of this might mellow out. Then, every year a new community could be hated and disliked for being the capital.

Just think about all the land, space and building lots that this would free up in Yellowknife. Also, since we are no longer the capital we could ask for and get handouts and even more political representation from the GNWT, in line with our population.

Yellowknife would no longer have to pretend that it was the capital, a city, or a suburb of Ottawa. Better yet, if the government left, maybe a lot of camp followers, the naysayer’s, whiners and complainers would also leave with them. It’s a win-win-win solution.

We could reclaim our true identity as a Northern frontier mining town. In fact, there should be a big sign on the road into town, “If you don’t like mining towns, then don’t move here.”

We should have put up such a sign years ago when Yellowknife first became the capital but better late than never.

The more I think about the idea of having a floating capital that moves from community to community, the more I like it. It would solve so many problems in the North. To start with, the government and its minions would get a good look at almost every community in the NWT and they would get a much better feel for the problems facing them. Who knows, they might even address a few of those problems.

It would be a world first, something that the government could endlessly brag up. If the land flooded due to global warming, our capital could be the last one afloat. It would be a tourist draw and companies could build floating hotels to handle the visitors.

Best of all, it would get the government out of Yellowknife and that, in my opinion, would be a good thing. They pulled the rug out from under efforts to save the headframe, the visitors center is now history and overall, they have probably done more harm than good for the city. So before they destroy everything lets say, “Bye, bye.”

Besides, if the government was someplace else, we could probably apply for and get some money to build a new visitors center. It’s hard to imagine what Yellowknife would be like but I am more than willing to give it a try.

A floating capital. A brave new idea whose time has come.