WHITEHORSE – The Official Opposition is calling on Premier Sandy Silver to build on the work of the Yukon Party and stand up for Yukon families by fighting for an exemption for Yukon from the carbon tax at the upcoming First Ministers’ Meeting on December 8th in Ottawa.
In past negotiations with the Council of the Federation and the federal government on Canada’s climate change plans, the former Yukon Party government was able to secure language to leave the door open for an exemption in the North. A carbon tax in Yukon would result in the cost of everything going up with very little impact on overall emissions.
“It is clear that families and businesses will see increased costs to everyday essentials such as fuel, groceries, and diapers as a result of the carbon tax,” said Stacey Hassard, leader of the Official Opposition. “Currently the recommendations going to First Ministers allows for a potential exemption for the North, so the new government needs to stand up for Yukon families and continue to push for this exemption.”
During the territorial election, Premier Silver stated that his government would work with the federal government to bring the carbon tax to Yukon. Although the Premier has claimed the carbon tax would have no impact on Yukoners, a former election candidate stated at a public forum that the carbon tax was beautiful because it was a form of wealth redistribution.
“If the Yukon Liberals are dead set on bringing in this new tax for ideological reasons, it is their responsibility as a government to be transparent about the details of their carbon tax scheme,” Hassard added. “We know the carbon tax will increase the cost of everything and the government needs to be upfront with families and businesses about how it will impact them.”
- The Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimates the average Canadian household could pay up to $2,569 as a result of the carbon tax
- Several provinces have stood up for their constituents and have shown some success in negotiating with Ottawa for special agreements to reduce emissions in their own jurisdictions.
- Alberta had originally said it would only agree to the federal carbon tax if the federal government approved construction of an oil sands pipeline.
- Further, both Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia have struck accords with the federal government that would allow them to keep coal plants open past the phase out deadline of 2030.