WHITEHORSE – After telling Yukoners last month that they would provide details on what carbon tax rebates will look like for municipalities at the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Association of Yukon Communities (AYC), the Liberals provided no new information at the conference.
“We anticipate having an announcement about municipal rebates at next month’s Association of Yukon Communities AGM…” – Premier Silver, April 17, 2018
Despite raising expectations that the Premier would finally begin sharing information with Yukoners about the carbon tax scheme that he signed onto, the government once again resorted to blaming Ottawa. In a letter to municipalities two weeks ago, the Premier was equally as vague, only saying that there would be rebates without committing to give 100% back or providing any details on how the mechanism will work.
“With no announcement, no press release, and no press conference, it’s clear the Liberals are withholding information from Yukoners and their approach is to say as little as possible so that they cannot be held to account,” said Stacey Hassard interim Leader of the Official Opposition. "We challenge the Premier to put definitively and clearly in writing that every single municipality will get 100% of everything back that they pay as a result of the carbon tax.”
The Official Opposition has asked the government multiple times, with no success, for details on the carbon tax rebate scheme, including:
- Will each municipality get 100% of their extra costs associated with the carbon tax back?
- If each municipality will not receive 100% back, then what will the government do to ensure they are not forced to make cuts or raise municipal taxes?
- How will the Yukon Government track how much extra each municipality pays?
- In what form and how frequently will the rebates come?
- For municipal governments that cannot afford to wait until their rebate cheques arrive, what will the Yukon Government do to ensure they remain in a good financial position?
“Municipalities need this information to help them budget for the future, and withholding it from them is not only unfair, it’s disrespectful,” added Hassard. “The Premier signed onto this agreement over 500 days ago and the fact that he is still unable to tell Yukoners who is getting how much back, or how they will even get it back, is very concerning.”