Yukon News

‘Sky’s not falling’ for Yukon with carbon pricing, premier says

Chris Windeyer Friday May 19, 2017

Joel Krahn/Yukon News


Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says his government is still in talks with Ottawa on how carbon pricing money would be returned to the Yukon.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna issued a discussion paper May 18 that offers the first detailed look at Ottawa’s plan to implement carbon pricing across the country by 2018.

But the precise impact on Yukon consumers and businesses remains unclear.

Ottawa’s so-called carbon pricing “backstop” will impose a carbon tax of $10 per tonne of CO2 emissions starting in 2018. The tax will increase by $10 per year until it hits $50 per tonne in 2022.

It’s called a backstop because it will only apply in provinces or territories that don’t have carbon pricing, or where local regimes don’t meet Ottawa’s standards. British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec already have some form of carbon pricing. The federal program is modelled on Alberta’s system.

“Making polluters pay is an important part of any climate plan,” McKenna told reporters in Ottawa May 18.

The carbon tax will be collected partly through levies on fuel. The federal levy on gasoline starts at 2.33 cents per litre in 2018 and increases to 11.63 cents per litre in 2022. Dirtier fuels like heavy fuel oil will be taxed at a higher rate. Levies will also apply to other fuels like diesel, aviation gas and jet fuel.

Some fuel importers, distributors and users will have to register with the Canada Revenue Agency for the purpose of collecting or paying carbon levies. That will include airlines and trucking companies.

The plan also includes a cap-and-trade system for large-scale industrial emitters who produce more than 50,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Lower emitters may also opt in. Polluters that emit less CO2 than their limit can earn credits they can save for later or trade to other industrial users.

Large public-sector buildings, such as schools and hospitals, are exempt from cap-and-trade.

The federal Liberals have said that jurisdictions where the backstop is in place will get all carbon tax revenue back, but the government has yet to say exactly how that will happen. On Thursday, McKenna said she is looking at rebates to individuals and businesses which would bypass provincial and territorial governments completely.

“Not a single dollar goes back to Ottawa,” she said.

Peter Turner, president of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, said he’s not particularly concerned with the initial fuel price levies. “That’s within the normal range of what we’ve seen with gas price swings,” he said, adding the 2022 fuel levies of 11 or more cents per litre could take a toll on businesses.

That’s why Turner said he wants to see a portion of carbon tax rebates directed to business to help them reduce their fossil fuel consumption. He also wants to see special help for miners, who sell commodities with prices fixed by global markets, and who can’t pass on higher costs to customers.

Premier Sandy Silver said his government was still talking with Ottawa about how carbon tax revenues would be returned to the Yukon. Silver said it was vital that any rebate program not “penalize people who can’t reduce” their carbon footprint, but could not give specifics about how that might work.

He said Yukoners will know how carbon tax revenues will be returned when the federal Liberals introduce enabling legislation in the fall. He has previously pledged that any carbon tax will be “truly revenue neutral for Yukon business and Yukon families.”

Silver also said he suspected the impact of the cap-and-trade component for large industrial emitters would likely have little impact on the Yukon’s economy because the territory currently has no industrial operations that produce 50,000 tonnes of carbon per year, though that could change with several large mining projects working their way through the regulatory system.

The premier did accuse the Yukon Party of overstating the impact of carbon pricing on the economy.

“The sky’s not falling on this one,” he said.

But Scott Kent, the Yukon Party’s economic development critic, said the prospect of gas tax hikes of approximately 12 cents per litre by 2022 “is pretty concerning.” The discussion paper said by 2022 a 50-litre tank of gas would cost about $5.82 more.

Kent said he is also concerned about the impact carbon pricing will have on the aviation and mining industries. He said waiting until the fall to see details of how rebates would work is “disappointing.”

“Yukoners are pretty anxious to see details,” he said.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, meanwhile, has said his province plans to take Ottawa to court over its imposition of carbon pricing. He called Thursday’s discussion paper “frankly more like a ransom note.”

With a report from CP

Contact Chris Windeyer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Riptide wrote:
10:48am Thursday June 1, 2017

@ hey premier silv

When 75% of your carbon footprint comes from FOOD & Heating Fuel to heat your house, I’m really curious as to how you plan on reducing that.

Bad news wrote:
2:32pm Wednesday May 31, 2017

This sounds really, really complicated.  It seems the only thing the Liberals have figured out (or concerned with at all) is how to take more money out of your pocket.

jean wrote:
7:26pm Saturday May 27, 2017

CO2 is not a greenhouse gas; it’s plant food.  Global warming is not caused by humans, and has reduced to almost nil for the past 18 years.  This is nothing but a blatant tax grab to pay for Liberal overspending of $10 Billion in gifts to foreign governments to “Stop Climate Change”.

Max Mack wrote:
9:58pm Friday May 26, 2017

“Peter Turner, president of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, said he’s not particularly concerned with the initial fuel price levies. “

Of course they’re not concerned - they’re lined up at the trough, looking for handouts and “subsidies” and “rebates”.

The rest of us will have to pay the price.

booger eater wrote:
6:22pm Thursday May 25, 2017

Consumption, sin tax. If You are the type that does not care about how large your carbon foot print is then pay. Money should be dispersed to those that need it most. Simple plan and every cent is shared with the public.

Groucho d'North wrote:
9:17am Thursday May 25, 2017

The federal Liberals are making it up as they go. The only real plan is to extort more money from Canadians, how they do that exactly depends on a number of things-  like what can they get away with. But here at home, there are still opportunities to talk about what ‘plans’ have been made by the YG government to reinvest the monies that will be returned. Will money flow back to we who were taxed? If so - how? Will the money be invested in greener energy systems? if So what, where and how much? We don’t need to wait for the Tater-Tot to begin discussing our taxation future.  we need our local politicians to start answering questions without hiding behind the Feds. I anticipate the same situation will be arriving soon regarding how the marijuana project will unfold here in the Yukon. The Yukon government needs to start talking with we constituents about these matters now before the next bill of goods gets dumped on us.

jean wrote:
5:50pm Wednesday May 24, 2017


All the ares that are experiencing recent flooding have flooded before.  It’s all been historically documented and occurred long before the CCAGW hoax.  The reason the damage is more severe now is that people have ignored warnings and built on flood plains which were only used for agriculture before.

“Name calling and insults are the last resort of insecure people with a crumbling position trying to appear confident.” —Rick Warren

jean wrote:
5:36pm Wednesday May 24, 2017

As the PM, Harper had to take the govt jet, but he reimbursed the government for the personal component of the flights. You sure as heck don’t see Trudie doing that do you?

Clifford wrote:
10:06pm Monday May 22, 2017

  @Jean   I suppose it was okay for Harps to fly around the continent in a challenger jet with his daughter attending sport functions though eh?
Beware of black washed, brain washed big oil propagandists who cement headedly think climate change is a hoax and that CO2 is good for plants, I don’t know of any mass flooding problems with levels never before seen and the disastrous damage caused, do you.

ralpH wrote:
4:24pm Monday May 22, 2017

Hey guys it is a sin tax. Wake up today more and more people seem to need big diesel one ton pickups. Everything is bigger and uses more fossil fuel. If You want to minimize what You are Gonne pay in carbon tax then get something more efficient and stop the crying. The big red or black diesel to most is pathic not something everyone is impressed with. I also know that they used to impose a luxury tax on any vehicle that was excess to normal driving vehicles . Maybe something to look at for non commercial uses.

Salar wrote:
10:16pm Sunday May 21, 2017

@conservative posters…..losing sucks doesnt it?

jean wrote:
6:32pm Saturday May 20, 2017

The use of a military jet for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s two-week family vacation on the Aga Khan’s private island pumped about as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the average Canadian emitted in 2014.

Trudeau’s use of the Challenger to fly his family and a nanny from Ottawa to Nassau, Bahamas and back consumed about 9,100 litres of jet fuel, according to the Department of National Defence.  James Tansey, a University of British Columbia sustainability professor and co-founder of Offsetters.ca, estimated that would have emitted about 20 tonnes of CO2.  Those amounts are approximately equivalent to what the average Canadian emitted in 2014, which was pegged at the equivalent to 20.6 tonnes of CO2 , according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

It’s also about seven times as much CO2 as the International Civil Aviation Organization’s emissions calculator shows six economy tickets on a flight from Ottawa to Nassau connecting in Toronto would burn: 2.94 tonnes (0.49 tonnes each). The Challenger flights had six passengers on board.


“Do as we say, not as we do;  using less is for everyone else”,  according to the LIB ClimateChange mantra.

It’s really nothing but a LIB tax grab isn’t it?  Calling it a ‘carbon tax’ is just lipstick on a pig.

ProScience Greenie wrote:
12:11pm Saturday May 20, 2017

Our family, humble home and lifestyle is already green and slowly getting greener every year but we are not made of money. There is no way this isn’t going to hit us and many others very hard, especially the tax on a tax on a tax thing. I hope there is a chance Sandy and crew can make this truly revenue neutral but can’t see how. It will bite him hard next election unless they can swing it.

Meanwhile expect the underground economy to grow and normally lawful citizens to start scamming more on their taxes. For those with good incomes, it will be business as usually with their carbon footprints as they can easily absorb this carbon sin tax. Not good.

Mike Kohler wrote:
10:00pm Friday May 19, 2017

@Hey Premier silv
Rural business owners, farmers, miners, forestry, tourism operators, private individuals needing to run their own power generators all depend on affordable fossil fuels, which we could have plenty if the government wouldn’t screw us over with fracking bans, out-phasing fossil fuel talk, pipeline stalling etc, all for a tax-grabbing scam labeling CO2 a pollutant, when it is just the opposite. But that’s too difficult science for our Environment Minister, who apparently doesn’t know the difference between a puffin and a penguin.

Nile wrote:
4:01pm Friday May 19, 2017

All “revenue neutral” means is that the government will spend all the money it collects for this new tax on the middl class. Nothing but a liberal money grab.

Hey Premier silv wrote:
3:13pm Friday May 19, 2017

Who are these people that “can’t reduce” their carbon footprint? I don’t think they exist, so it will be interesting to see who you think they are.

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