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NDP Leader Kate White

Climate change strategy underwhelms NDP leader

It’s hard not to be cynical about some components of the Yukon government’s strategy to fight climate change, NDP Leader Kate White said Monday.

By Whitehorse Star on September 15, 2020

It’s hard not to be cynical about some components of the Yukon government’s strategy to fight climate change, NDP Leader Kate White said Monday.

At a news conference held earlier in the day, Premier Sandy Silver and two cabinet minister rolled out their strategy to battle the warming climate in the territory.

The strategy identifies 131 specific actions the government will take in the next 10 years to ensure that at least 93 per cent of the energy produced in the Yukon emanates from a green source.

The government, for instance, wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by 30 per cent in the next decade.

It’s partnering with the federal government to rebate $10,000 – $5,000 from each government – for people who purchase electric vehicles.

In recognition that not everybody can afford a new electric vehicle, there’s also a rebate to cover the shipping cost for Yukoners who purchase a used electric vehicle from Outside and bring it into the territory.

The government unveiled Our Clean Future: a Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy – a 70-page document that lays out the 131 initiatives.

“It’s hard not to be cynical when months before an election, the government announces they will distribute cheques as they push back climate change action in the mining sector for two more years,” White said.

The rebates are also available for the purchase of electric motorcycles and electric bicycles, as well as zero-emission snowmobiles.

The government anticipates spending $18.4 million over the next 10 years on the transportation rebates.

“We obviously support the rebate programs for electric cars and bikes but let’s be honest: we’re catching up with the rest of the world with these measures. This is not a ground-breaking, visionary announcement,” White said.

“The main problem with Our Clean Future is that it sets a 30-per-cent target for emission reduction by 2030 but the measures proposed only get us three-quarters of the way there – and that’s if every single target is met.

“Everyone knows you can’t get away with paying 75 per cent of your rent or mortgage on a given month,” the NDP leader added.

“It’s no more acceptable when it comes to climate change, especially a year after declaring a climate emergency.”

With contributions from Ottawa, the Yukon government plans to spend an estimated $500 million on the 131 measures over the next decade, or some $50 million a year.

Comments (19)

Up 1 Down 2

Martin on Sep 21, 2020 at 8:20 am

I always wonder why our "leaders" haven't banned plastic bottles in our Territory; specially water plastic bottles. We live in a place where water is tasteful and refilling is easy. "Environmentalists" preachers got real work to do.

Up 8 Down 4

martin on Sep 18, 2020 at 6:10 pm

@Pikachu : Liz? Really? I am not a NDPer, but Kate is a considerable improvement. in the last election Yukoners have spoken on Liz.

Up 16 Down 0

martin on Sep 18, 2020 at 6:05 pm

The day the hypocrites "environmentalists" stop using parkas and things made out of petroleum by-products like poliester, etc; then I "might" side with this cause.

Up 18 Down 2

JohnW on Sep 18, 2020 at 2:19 pm

Cheap solar panels and electric car batteries made by pollution spewing factories in Asia are NOT "clean" in any way. Subsidizing those "dirty renewables" is a foolish waste of taxpayer's money.
It's not economically feasible to mine the raw materials or produce PV solar components in North America. The labor costs in North America are prohibitively expensive and North American environmental regulations which keep our air, water and land from being heavily polluted don't exist in Asia. Therefore nearly all of the mining for materials and PV production is over there where they can pollute and keep their production costs low. The electricity to run their mines and PV solar factories comes from dirty coal burned without stack scrubbing and the mines and factories dump pollution into the environment. The same goes for their wind turbines. The amount of environmental destruction and toxic pollution from PV solar and wind turbine production in China far exceeds the damage caused by the oil sands operations. Chinese green energy is dirtier than the oil sands.
Some people seem to believe toxic pollution is OK as long as it happens somewhere else.
Yes, cheap solar made in China by polluting factories can displace diesel fuel and LNG from Canadian petroleum. However, China contributes most of the toxic coal pollution that's poisoning our atmosphere and 30% of the greenhouse gasses that some people believe are causing the weather to change.
All of Canada's oil industry including the oilsands contributes 1% of the global greenhouse gasses. Canadian oil provides jobs for Canadian taxpayers, it puts a roof over their head and food on their table.
Is more cheap Chinese solar really the best choice?

Up 15 Down 7

Pikachu on Sep 17, 2020 at 8:52 pm

Kate seems nice and all, but she REALLY doesn't look or sound like someone I would want in charge of Yukon's financial books. She is better suited to leading a high school protest of some sort. Bottom line is they should have kept Liz Hanson as leader if they wanted to be taken seriously.

Up 30 Down 3

martin on Sep 16, 2020 at 7:54 pm

Three Gov. Agencies (DFO, Forestry and Mining) showed up to this job site for a field inspection. It was noted that they all drove their shiny official trucks from Whitehorse (xxx km away).
I am guessing that they couldn’t share a single vehicle because it would have been bad for “their” environment.
Meanwhile the rest of us ……………

Up 15 Down 2

Brent on Sep 16, 2020 at 5:29 pm

Underwhelming the NDP is not an easy thing to do.

Up 16 Down 7

Wilf on Sep 16, 2020 at 5:25 pm

Uh Grouchy, fridges and freezers already have a duty cycle control, it's called a thermostat. Your proposal would result in freezers full of spoiled food and salmonella in refrigerated food. Back to the dreaming board with you.

Up 31 Down 1

Fed Up on Sep 16, 2020 at 11:57 am

Electricity is scarce now. Just converted to propane from electricity, hope to graduate out of the poorhouse.

Up 16 Down 9

Groucho d'North on Sep 16, 2020 at 10:57 am

I find it incredulous that all these Save the World from Climate Change programs end up being: How do we spend (Insert dollar figure here) and achieve something positive? Perhaps the wrong people are making these determinations?
How would you spend half a billion dollars to be greener?
I'd promote a program to reduce electrical consumption by making control systems available for refrigeration and freezer appliances so they run on a half time on and half time off cycle. Things stay cool like they should but only half the electricity gets consumed.

Up 10 Down 36

Nathan Living on Sep 16, 2020 at 12:49 am

Electric vehicle owners will likely charge them at off peak times.
Even in winter they will not need to be frequently charged. So much misinformation out there.

Please stop this negative knee jerk reaction.

Up 32 Down 6

Charlie's Aunt on Sep 15, 2020 at 7:36 pm

More fluff from our wired Government leaders. Don't see any incentives for hybrid vehicles with lower emissions that don't need a load of plugging in to charge. Just buy straight electric and then wonder why we have no power to heat homes or turn on the lights, let alone charge your car.

Up 27 Down 10

Martin on Sep 15, 2020 at 6:22 pm

It is imperative that we solve the climate change issue, so we -and we alone- can stop the fires in California, Oregon and 1/2 of the west coast of USA.
Soon as the NDP and the YTG get back from lunch, we should start that.

Up 45 Down 2

Gringo on Sep 15, 2020 at 6:18 pm

Best kept secret is...all those rented diesel gen sets that munch fuel are all being sent up to Mayo so that the “optics” are no longer visible at Yukon Energy in Whitehorse. It’s a bloody scam. The only green energy we have is in the summer when we don’t need it. That’s a fact!

I am at home with no kids, we have led lights, hang up our clothes to dry and still my hydro bills are double what they were 5 years ago in the Winter. I am subsidizing the massive fuel being used to keep the grid going. I’m tired of it.

Up 28 Down 10

JC on Sep 15, 2020 at 5:40 pm

And one more thing, if the Liberals and NDP are so concerned about carbon emissions, put a few million dollars investment in a railroad. One loc pulling several rail cars produces a lot less emissions than all those fuel driven trucks. Put tax money where it counts. Years ago, the federal government owned a railroad that went across Canada and made a fortune on it. Now, that's a good investment that will pay back dividends. Giving tax money away all the time and not getting anything back is a typical Liberal strategy that sucks.

Up 32 Down 10

JC on Sep 15, 2020 at 5:33 pm

Somebody should inform Kate White that the ink in tattoos aren't produced from "renewable energy." It comes out of the ground. And when I see so many people to day of all sexes, covered in them, I think, for the sake of the paranoid environuts it's time to invent a new fad.

Up 34 Down 8

JC on Sep 15, 2020 at 5:25 pm

NDP leader Kate White says, "We're catching up to the rest of the world with these measures". Huh? Where has she been these last years chained to a tree? Yukon's carbon emissions are minuscule compared to any other country in the world, especially China, Russia, India and even the US. I'm sure most of our emissions are brought in from other countries by the winds.
For goodness sake, if we cut any more emissions the forests will dry out from lack of nourishment and burn. Vegetation lives on CO2. But the left likes to fool people, especially the young ones by leaving off the word dioxide. Now, they think carbon is little bits of black ash floating in the air, when its invisible gas that feed the vegetation, so we can have oxygen to breath and stay healthy. For cripes sake, I learned that in grade school science. Don't they teach it anymore? The Yukon is clean enough. Don't destroy it with your paranoia.

Up 51 Down 6

My Opinion on Sep 15, 2020 at 1:37 pm

This Government states that they will entice and subsidize people to not buy local. If they buy a used electric vehicle from outside, then they will get Government money covering the cost of Freight. The local dealers here can acquire and sell used Electric vehicle the same way they acquire the rest of their inventory. But no subsidy for them.

Typical Bureaucrats not looking past the end of their nose.

Up 63 Down 6

My Opinion on Sep 15, 2020 at 1:31 pm

I was just reading that Aishiak Dam may not get its licence to produce power. Mayo lake is chronically low on water in low snow years. Whitehorse dam produces reduced power in the winter months.

So the answer to all of that is pay people 10,000.00 to buy an electric car. Any additional power drawn from our grid is already produced by Fossil Fuels. Yukon Energy just announced that they will have 17 portable RENTED Generators this year. Also how many upgrades will have to be done to the grid to accommodate increased load.

How stupid can these people be?????? STUPID is as STUPID does.

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