MONTREAL—Yukon’s premier and the Government of Yukon will continue to stand up against the imposition of a carbon tax on Yukoners. Earlier today, the federal government issued a statement describing its intent to address climate change through imposing a national carbon price plan.
“A carbon tax in Yukon will be bad for Yukon and for Yukon families,” Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski said. “The North already has a higher cost of living than in the rest of Canada. Most food must be trucked or flown in; Yukoners have no choice but to heat their homes throughout our long cold winters; and most people do not have the option to use public transit to get to work or buy groceries. Here in Yukon, a carbon tax would only increase the cost of living for families without addressing emissions.”
In the Vancouver Declaration signed earlier this year, Yukon was successful in achieving special recognition for the circumstances faced by the North and agreement that any policies developed would have to take into consideration these unique circumstances.
Today in Montreal, the territories were able to get unanimous support from Environment Ministers for a recommendation to go to the next First Ministers’ Meeting, exempting the territories from a carbon tax. The wording reads “while carbon pricing can be an effective tool for reducing emissions, unique territorial circumstances including high costs of living, challenges with food security, and emerging economies, mean that a range of different policy options for reducing emissions must be available for the territories."
“We are disappointed to see the unilateral approach announced today by Ottawa, which flies in the face of the collaborative approach that was agreed to a few short months ago,” said Minister of Community Services Currie Dixon, who was in Montreal today on behalf of Minister of Environment Wade Istchenko. “We will continue to fight the imposition of a carbon tax on Yukoners. We believe it is our job as elected representatives to stand up for what is best for Yukon and for all Yukoners.”
Government of Yukon has already outlined its made-in-Yukon approach to meet climate change goals and support Yukon’s economy. This includes retrofits to government buildings, investments in climate research, support for green energy projects and job creation.