Whitehorse Daily Star

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Pictured Above: STACEY HASSARD and SANDY SILVER

Tax will be ‘bureaucratic nightmare,’ YP predicts

The Yukon Party predicts the federal carbon pricing plan will be a “bureaucratic nightmare,”

By Sidney Cohen on May 19, 2017

The Yukon Party predicts the federal carbon pricing plan will be a “bureaucratic nightmare,” and says the Liberals should work to negotiate exemptions for the Yukon.

“The administration of this tax will come with increased bureaucracy and costs,” Yukon Party interim Leader Stacey Hassard said in an email to the Star early this afternoon.

“Further, not only will Yukoners be forced to pay higher costs, but the resulting paperwork and administration will make life more difficult for the business community.”

Details of the federal government’s proposed carbon pricing “backstop” were released Thursday, including the tax rate per litre of various fossil fuels. The plan will come into force next year.

The backstop will see a levy on carbon emissions starting at $10 per tonne in 2018, rising to $50 in 2022.

At the pumps, this boils down to an additional 2.33 cents on a litre of gasoline in 2018, rising each subsequent year to 11.63 cents in 2022.

The tax on diesel, a primary home heating and truck fuel, will start at 2.74 cents per litre in 2018, and rise annually to 13.69 cents in 2022.

The propane tax will start at 1.55 cents a litre in 2018 and increase to 7.74 cents in 2022.

The tax on jet fuel will rise from 2.49 cents per litre in 2018 to 12.91 cents in 2022.

The federal government will review its carbon pricing plan in five years.

Shortly after Ottawa released a technical paper Thursday on its pricing plan, the Yukon Party sent out a statement, once again blaming the premier for imposing a carbon tax on Yukoners.

“Today’s announcement confirms what the official Opposition has been saying all along – every Yukoner will end up paying more as a result of Premier Silver’s carbon tax scheme,” said MLA Scott Kent.

Of course, the backstop is a federal policy, and it will be applied in every jurisdiction that doesn’t develop its own plan to price carbon at an equal rate, or reduce emissions at an equal level.

Alberta and B.C. already have a carbon tax, and Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia are opting for a cap-and-trade system.

All three territories, Atlantic Canada and Manitoba, have agreed to some form of carbon pricing.

Saskatchewan is the only jurisdiction that remains steadfastly opposed to any kind of carbon levy, with Premier Brad Wall calling the technical paper “a ransom note,” and threatening legal action.

Revenues generated through the carbon tax will be returned to the province or territory of origin, but Canada says it is open to feedback on how exactly this will be done.

Ottawa also said it is considering bypassing provincial and territorial middlemen, and returning revenues directly to people and businesses.

Premier Sandy Silver has promised that every dollar of the new tax will be returned to Yukoners in the form of rebates.

Hassard, however, isn’t so sure Silver will be able to deliver on this pledge.

“To date, the premier has provided no details on how this will work or how he will even track how much extra each Yukoner pays,” he said.

“If in fact Ottawa is delivering the rebates, then we have no assurance that every Yukoner gets all their money back.”

Yukon Party MLA Wade Istchenko asked for details on the rebate in the House last month.

“Will Yukoners receive the rebate cheque? Will all Yukoners receive the same amount of rebate? How much paperwork will Yukoners have to go through to get their rebate?”

British Columbia, which has had a carbon tax since 2008, offers a special income tax credit to low-income earners and families to help offset the burden of the province’s carbon tax – might the Yukon follow suit?

“Every Yukoner is going to be paying more for everything, and with only seven months until the tax is to be implemented, they can’t afford to not know how they’ll be getting a rebate,” said Hassard.

The Yukon is currently working with Canada on a study of the impacts the federal plan will have on northern economies and vulnerable groups, said Eric Clement, a spokesperson for the Department of Finance.

The study will be complete this fall.

Commercial carriers (trucks, trains, buses etc.), whether transporting freight or people, will be required to pay a carbon levy on any fuel used in a backstop region, even if it wasn’t purchased in that jurisdiction. The carrier will register with the Canada Revenue Agency, and report fuel used in backstop zones.

The government will reimburse the carrier for fuel purchased in a backstop zone, but used outside that zone.

There are some exceptions to the federal backstop.

For example, there will be relief for certain farming activities, on fuel exported from a backstop region, and on biofuel blends.

Silver was not available for comment today on the carbon tax.

Comments (16)

Up 4 Down 1

zak on May 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm

Other than expressing concern over an outrageous tragedy, have the politicians from different parties ever acted in concert with one another?

Up 6 Down 0

There was job losses in BC on May 24, 2017 at 2:14 pm

No one wanted to take the time to determine how many jobs were lost there.
Tourism got a major loss. Processing and manufacturing were hard hit. Cost of goods have gone up in BC. Look at the price of fuel in BC. It has been higher than the Yukon.
Wilf Carter

Up 3 Down 2

north_of_60 on May 24, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Everything is on the table, including exemptions, for North carbon tax: federal official: A senior official with the federal environment department has confirmed the North isn't included in Ottawa's current plans for a carbon tax.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/north-carbon-tax-federal-official-1.4128637

Up 6 Down 13

Vinnie Barbarino on May 23, 2017 at 10:33 pm

How is it that this tax has been implemented in B.C. for some time now and has not resulted in job loss or bureaucratic nightmares there? Quite the opposite as B.C.'s economy is doing the best in Canada.
As per usual Yukon Party predictions don't hold water.

Up 11 Down 3

north_of_60 on May 23, 2017 at 5:10 pm

@Willard
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?

Up 16 Down 4

This tax is not bad but will destroy on May 23, 2017 at 9:33 am

A lot of jobs in Yukon like it has done in BC. Our cost of living will go up by 10% or more like BC. Alberta will lose 30,000 jobs because of the carbon tax.
Trudeau will have to drop the carbon tax because of what is taking place in the US. Wilf Carter

Up 18 Down 4

Kati on May 22, 2017 at 11:31 pm

Does this mean wages will increase and real estate/rent will go down to accommodate? Ridiculous!

Up 4 Down 18

Willard on May 22, 2017 at 10:24 pm


@Jean Remember when Harper was flying around the continent in a challenger jet with his daughter attending sports events. I didn't think you would.
I know, let's do nothing about climate change and buy everyone a house boat to live on. They can eat fish, who needs crops. Oh, I forgot crops like CO2.

Up 16 Down 2

Darrel Drugstore's Smartest Neighbour on May 21, 2017 at 10:07 pm

It's strange that Wilf Carter hasn't weighed in on this.
I believe that his opinions would be more perceptive, analytical and even-handed.
He needs to grab issues like this if he's planning on running to be the
next YT Premier or MP.

Up 36 Down 7

jean on May 21, 2017 at 11:03 am

Just to put it all in perspective---
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.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/politics/pm-s-use-of-jet-for-family-vacation-emitted-as-much-co2-as-average-canadian-per-year-1.3250397

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

The TrudieTax is really nothing but a LIB tax grab isn’t it? Calling it a ‘carbon tax’ is merely lipstick on a pig.

Up 11 Down 33

Red Hay on May 20, 2017 at 10:35 pm

I just spent a week in British Columbia.
The place that has had a carbon tax since 2008.
It seems to have survived the ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ just fine.

The politics of fear didn't work for last in his riding Pasloski and they won't work
for the remaining members of the gang that couldn't shoot straight

Up 10 Down 23

Rick Rondelet on May 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm

"Premier Silver’s carbon tax scheme,” said MLA Scott Kent.

AHEM - Somnolent Scott
that would be Prime Minister Trudeau's Federal carbon tax scheme
Yet another Weasel Party MLA who doesn't understand what his job is

Up 33 Down 4

ProScience Greenie on May 20, 2017 at 11:08 am

Of course the carbon sin tax will be a bureaucratic nightmare. How could it not be with backstops, taxes on taxes, collection of taxes, redistribution of taxes, determination of exemptions, disputes, loopholes, more staff, computers and office space and then more taxes on taxes, it will all cost money with a few pennies on the dollar going back to the people. Any thinking person left, right or center can see that.

A big unanswered question is what will be the carbon footprint of this new sin tax on carbon? It definitely won't be zero. Would love to see an estimate of that.

Bottom line is that it is a stupid and very un-green way to deal with reducing our GHG footprints but a brilliant way to increase general government revenues, which more and more seems to be what this sin tax is really all about.

I like Silver but sooner or later I hope he sucks it up and admits that one way or another this tax will be a hard hit on the wallet for many and for many others with higher income, it will do little to curb their carbon footprints.

Up 24 Down 5

June Jackson on May 19, 2017 at 11:30 pm

Any one who thinks any politician is going to be an honest, caring person with personal and professional integrity should stop drinking the koolaid..I believe there is some kind of defect..perhaps a sort of mental illness that drives a person to strive for power over their fellow man..they change parties, lie, drop one set of beliefs and adopt another without blinking an eye..they break the law with impunity..and always have an excuse for their failures as a human being... The best I hope for is that they will want to get elected again so bad that they will throw the occasional bone to the voting populace..that they won't get an opportunity to break the law..that maybe one will come along and raise the bar..they don't have to live up to the lowest possible denominator...they choose too. .don't expect much from the liberal government and you won't be disappointed.
Unfortunately I didn't follow my own advice..I expected much..and I am disappointed..locally and federally...wish I could undo my vote..

Up 33 Down 13

Jc on May 19, 2017 at 9:28 pm

Ah, not to worry, when the Conservatives get back in next election, that will end that stupid tax grab carbon tax.

Up 13 Down 28

Gary Liddy on May 19, 2017 at 5:19 pm

is there any politician at any level in the ENTIRE country bleating about this FEDERAL tax as much as Sanctimonious Stacey ?

He really needs to take his concerns to the proper forum and start his campaign to
be the Conservative candidate in the next Federal election.

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