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Energy, Mines and Resources critic Scott Kent

Firewood issues are kindling for a problematic winter: YP

Many Yukoners risk being left to freeze in the dark this winter thanks to their Liberal government, says the Yukon Party.

By Whitehorse Star on September 30, 2022

Many Yukoners risk being left to freeze in the dark this winter thanks to their Liberal government, says the Yukon Party.

Yukon firewood producers and those who burn wood as their main source of heat have been pleading with the government to get firewood-cutting permits out the door, and to plan for harvesting areas, the official Opposition said last week.

“Unfortunately, thanks to the Liberals not addressing this issue, the Yukon is heading for another winter where firewood delivery will be scarce.

“It’s mid-September, and the Yukon Party official Opposition is already fielding calls from concerned Yukoners who cannot get firewood delivered for the upcoming winter.”

Many of those who are able to find a supplier are now paying over $500 per cord due to the shortage, the party said.

“Wait lists are as long as three months,” the party added.

Some commercial operators are now looking as far away as Fort Nelson, B.C. for supply, the YP said.

“Trucking wood almost 1,000 kilometres will drive up costs for the consumer and is bad for the environment.”

“This important issue was brought to the attention of the Liberals by the industry way back in June of 2021,” said Energy, Mines and Resources critic Scott Kent.

“The minister (John Streicker) said in January the shortage was not due to permitting or supply but cold weather.

“Now many months later, suppliers and Yukoners are telling us there is no wood to be found, and a lack of supply.”

Not allowing logging in the Quill Creek harvest area from April 1 into the fall has exacerbated the issue, Kent said.

“The minister needs to address the firewood shortage right now or many Yukoners will be left out in the cold this winter.”

Asked about the opposition’s concerns, the cabinet communications staff released this statement:

“We are aware there have been challenges with wood reaching Yukoners and are closely monitoring the price, availability, demand and production of firewood in the Yukon, and we are considering additional measures to support Yukoners seeking firewood.

“Harvesting opportunities for firewood continue to be available and permits continue to be issued throughout the territory. Eligible operators have not been denied a permit due to wood supply.”

The government is working with the Yukon Wood Products Association and other members of the forest industry to support them in moving firewood to market, the statement added.

“We expect more local firewood to start moving into the Yukon market later in the fall once the ground freezes and local suppliers begin harvesting and delivering.

“We continue to expand access to timber within approved timber harvest plans and through additional salvage, fuel abatement, and other harvesting opportunities that arise as part of other land uses or in areas with natural disturbance.”

The Quill Creek Timber Harvest Plan was approved in November 2021, the statement noted.

“This area will provide a long-term supply of timber in the Haines Junction region.

“Timber harvesting activities in the Quill Creek planning area may resume on October 1, after seasonal restrictions to address forest fire risk are lifted.”

In working with Yukon Wildland Fire Management, the statement said, “notable progress” was made on the design of the Quill Creek fuel break near Haines Junction, with construction expected to commence this winter.

Once the fuel break is completed, harvesting activities will be permitted from Aug. 15 to March 31. This adds 45 days from the current window of Oct. 1 to March 31.

“Activities like timber processing at landings and timber hauling will be allowed year-round in low fire hazard conditions once the fuel break is constructed,” the statement said.

The Yukon Party made its comments before Wednesday’s announcement of a new rebate to offset higher costs of firewood.

As reported in Wednesday’s Star, the rebate, available to Yukon households, provides $50 for each cord of firewood purchased, to a maximum of 10 cords.

Applicants must submit a proof of delivery form signed by their firewood supplier when applying for the rebate.

It’s available for firewood bought between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.

Comments (34)

Up 0 Down 0

Woodcutting Applicant on Oct 27, 2022 at 10:18 am

And here I am, a future small scale provider, sifting through government red tape waiting for approval. Perhaps I will start offering my services to cut personal use permits in the meantime.

Up 0 Down 0

Jimmy on Oct 10, 2022 at 9:23 am

Some year's I've put in the work and done my own wood, collecting off the property I live on, but I don't have the standing or falling dead to buck anymore. I'd love to just harvest my own wood but transportation is an issue. You need a good vehicle for moving wood and getting one of those is expensive (and the only time I'd use it would be for wood).
It's crazy to think that 5 years ago I was upset at the price of wood being over $300 a cord and now $525 is a deal.

Up 0 Down 0

Josey Wales on Oct 7, 2022 at 5:44 am

Why not just burn government studies, surveys and other useless paper that get shuffled around.
We do that, no one would have any need to fell trees for many years.

Imagine living in the middle of the biggest forest on the planet, then having some blowhole tell ya...that it is difficult to free up trees.
They have us programmed, but you do not need the governments permission to feed and warm your “allegedly” first world body.

They need ours to keep on forging those chains, put out the fire!
Orcs or blowholes, not certain which is worse.
Based on...”looking out for you” they are both fiction.
Political blowholes have done more damage to our forest than any beetles have done.
The forest is a great metaphor for our lives.
Left to the will of the ever increasing number of blowholes we have...
We will all soon be standing dead, after they harvest from our society what they wish.
Our society soon will represent the forest, dead by outside parasites unless we pull our head outta our asses and give the political blowholes the admiration and support they deserve...which is absolutely F/A!

Up 1 Down 0

Nathan Living on Oct 6, 2022 at 7:12 pm

There should be a very simple yet eloquent solution to the firewood issue and with more available firewood, prices will decrease.

Up 13 Down 0

YD on Oct 6, 2022 at 2:13 pm

The current government has failed us in regards to firewood.

Up 8 Down 0

CJ2 on Oct 5, 2022 at 11:20 pm

I love all the breezy advice to "just get your own". I've done my share of that, and it's a bit of a false economizing, and very hard work. But then, I notice the people saying that are not saying that's what they used to do, not what they do now. Or maybe they were feeding a fireplace, not the sole source of heat.

I agree with the comment that firewood started becoming problematic when bigger operators started taking firewood seriously. I think what happened is the small operators just started supplying them. It might be just a coincidence, but complaints about slow permitting started soon after. Maybe small operators just don't want to deal with all the other stuff now, delivering and so on. Whatever the reason, we're hooped in part because the big fellas don't see any money in it anymore, and they seem to have had some effect on the peripheral part of the industry, those guys hauling a load around with a "Wood for Sale" sign on it.

Whatever, it's a mess. I wish I didn't need firewood anymore. It's become an increasingly nasty part of the winter, just trying to locate some, and then paying dearly for it. And now you have to worry that a lot of it is green, since that's what's being permitted.

Up 2 Down 2

Woodcutter on Oct 5, 2022 at 9:39 pm

@ bozojoe, now your sounding like a typical guard just before you toss someones cell. Of course they seemed happy, to voice different would have invited all sorts of retribution, as described by those I know who were in during the 80's .

Funny storey however, was that friends would stash something to nip on, where you had the chain gangs working. Perhaps that's the source of the smiles. The reason it was shut down is cause there was folks complaining, just not to you.

Up 2 Down 8

Beaver on Oct 5, 2022 at 6:55 pm

Wilf, take your pills old fella.
There is no school up in Copper Ridge. Do you make everything up?

Up 6 Down 0

Beaver on Oct 5, 2022 at 6:51 pm


Bang on. I got 9 cords delivered this spring, paid cash at a decent price, no receipt.
I’ll never see a penny of that rebate.

Up 8 Down 1

60,000,000 dollars for what? I wonder if there will be any sunk costs for this ‘wreck’ centre… on Oct 5, 2022 at 5:42 pm

Dear Where have all the Yukoners gone on Oct 5, 2022 at 7:21 am:

They are too busy cutting wood on their iPhone playing FarmVille… Also, Yukoners are being displaced by foreign imports. And of course, the Liberals have regulated and legislated non-aboriginal Yukoners out of any real ability to provide for themselves… Taxes, inflation, food prices, gas prices, and racially preferential procurement and hiring processes. Diversity for some, adversity for others!

60,000,000 + 22,500,000 + how much to host the games?

And that is on top of the debt that the Liberals keep increasing by some exponential growth factor - WTF people?

Seriously, WTF is wrong with you!?!? You’ve seriously jeopardized our children's and our grandchildren’s futures with your gross incompetence!

Take away SS’s pension until he fixes this mess. Once that is done his monies should be subject to garnishment at poverty levels. McFeeble-sobby should have his/her/their benefits and pensions cancelled outright!

He should also be required to reside in the Yukon so that he can be properly shamed, daily… Something about stocks for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week - To remind him of the damage he has done to those who work for a living.

Up 8 Down 0

North_of_60 on Oct 5, 2022 at 5:27 pm

Most woodcutters operate a cash only business and their prices are at least $50 less than the big commercial operations. The LIBgov is only helping their registered business friends with this rebate.

Up 13 Down 4

Groucho d'North on Oct 5, 2022 at 10:22 am

The wood program that was operated by the WCC cut, delivered and stacked wood for elders and not the common market so there wasn't any real commercial competition. Just inmates trying to give something back to their communities, and they benefitted from the exersize too.
At the same time WCC ran the Xmas Toy program where donanted old toys that were reburbished by the inmates and the RCMP and service clubs would distribute them to the low income families in the communities. It was a very successful program for both the inmates and the beneficiary kids who recieved something for Xmas. Yup the caring and sensitive NDP shut that down too. And Woodcutter, while the Xmas Toy program was running, none of the retail toy outlets complained about any loss of sales.

Up 15 Down 7

Where have all the Yukoners gone on Oct 5, 2022 at 7:21 am

Umm, do people not cut their own wood anymore? If you head up the Klondike highway there is plenty of wood for people to have that is limbed, it only needs to be cut into lengths and bucked.

Where did the Yukoners go? The ones who would go out and cut wood for a couple of weeks, get their 10 cords and be ready for the winter.

Up 7 Down 5

bonanzajoe on Oct 4, 2022 at 9:13 pm

Woodcutter on Oct 4, 2022. Still haven't learned respect, I see. Must be a distant relative of Karl Marx.

Up 29 Down 2

Austin on Oct 4, 2022 at 7:40 am

Won't be many rebates given out as most people pay for their wood in cash and most woodcutters don't give out receipts. The wood cutters I get wood from anyways. I will just get my own. Liberal Government at their finest. Open up some accessible wood lots for the average joe can get it themsemselves. Why not enforce a rule that when you clear your lot the wood has to be harvested not put into piles and burnt like the wood being wasted on the South Access. What a joke.

Up 13 Down 8

Woodcutter on Oct 4, 2022 at 12:24 am


When you were running the chain gang, you were using the power of the government to unfairly compete with the private sector with unpaid labour. One could only imagine the corruption that existed with how people were selected to get that free firewood

Up 16 Down 3

Woodcutter on Oct 4, 2022 at 12:15 am

I am reading here that the issue is " affordable firewood" or in otherwords cheap firewood.

The cost of firewood has nothing to do with availablity. I could have the only cord of wood in the Yukon and I ain't going to get $5000 for it.

The real effect on the cost of firewood is fuel oil and weather. With oil at $2.00 /litre a $500 cord of wood is still a cost effective heat source. If fuel oil was $1.00/litre no one would pay $500 per cord but instead would pay about $275.00 just like it was about 8 years ago.

I seen wood being hauled into town, just that there seems to be less small operators nowadays. In retrospect there have been complaints about supply ever since the big operators setup shop in the yukon, with some of the mouth pieces getting attention in the newspapers. I recall how one operation predicted that he was going to change how people got firewood and that you wouldn't have to go to the pub and find out who had the truck of wood outside.

I bet there's lots of people who wish it was that easy nowadays, I mean buy a load of wood at the pub.
Sorry folks, I am slammed and prices have gone up to $550/cord, so much extra paperwork now.

I love capitilism

Up 12 Down 5

motive unclear on Oct 3, 2022 at 8:46 pm

Btw, it isn't being discussed much in the lamestream, but the Russian gaslines, nordstream 1 and 2 have been deliberately blown apart and flooded with seawater, meaning Europe's connection with Russian gas is all but gone. Blinken just informed the world that this is a "great opportunity" and now the European demand for gas will explode and so likely will the price we are paying for it because American and likely Canadian gas will be sold over there. And now that we have switched to cheap and available to run the generators, hmmm.... your electricity bills are likely to rise.
Pure speculation on my part but having a handy supply of wood could prove a considerable comfort !

Up 10 Down 2

At Home in the Yukon on Oct 3, 2022 at 4:33 pm

If "Eligible operators have not been denied a permit due to wood supply” then is YG really responsible for this snafu or is the equation more complicated than that? I hate not knowing who to blame.

Up 33 Down 4

My Opinion on Oct 3, 2022 at 4:11 pm

So the Government just announced a 50.00 rebate. All you need is a receipt that shows what you paid and that the supplier must complete and sign the proof of delivery form every time they deliver firewood to your home. They will also have to show their firewood cutting permit #

Yep this will work great, this is just the Government trying to catch and shut down wood cutters, there is no other reason they need all this information. Good luck getting a wood cutter to sign all that crap they will just deliver to someone else. End of story.

Up 52 Down 10

bonanzajoe on Oct 3, 2022 at 11:45 am

When I was a Corrections Officer in the early 80s, we had a crew of inmates that lived in trailers outside the main building. In the fall we took them out and cut firewood for seniors. It was a good program and the inmates liked it - they were outside enjoying the fresh air and loved the work. But then alas, the NDP were voted in and shut the whole program down. They thought it was inhuman and unjust for those inmates to have to work. Now, they vegetate in their cells 23 hours a day while getting only one hour of fresh air. Way to go NDP. Karl Marx would be so proud of you.

Up 39 Down 1

Dave completely agree and one other point! on Oct 3, 2022 at 2:31 am

This is what it says on the YTG website about heating with wood. Thought you would appreciate the irony!

" Advantages of wood heat
Firewood is available all over the Yukon including fire and beetle-killed wood.
Wood is a renewable resource.
You control your fuel supply."

How incredibly sad that we have come to this whole situation, through absolute incompetence by YTG!

Up 30 Down 0

Dave completely agree! on Oct 3, 2022 at 2:20 am

The people who will suffer this winter are going to really have huge problems from this YTG created shortage of wood, when we have thousands of acres of standing deadwood around.

Oil heating costs, will be outrageous this winter. Wood will be outrageous as well and ATCO will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Of course, if YTG actually made the effort to report heating oil prices regularly to NRCAN who maintain an online registry of this data, then we could really see what is going on but NO, there is no data available for the Yukon as usual!!!

Up 36 Down 8

My Opinion on Oct 2, 2022 at 10:30 pm

The Government has an entire department of Forest services. They do nothing. Their job is to tell you how you can’t get there from here. As Polievre says, We need to get rid of the gate keepers.

Up 18 Down 1

Shamoo on Oct 2, 2022 at 8:05 pm

Possible solution.
Contractors just cut hundreds of cords of wood from within the airport boundary to facilitate widening of the highway.
Why not use that wood (other than it may be a bit green), as an emergency supply.
The mounds and mounds of it stashed halfway up the South access is evident.
My apologies if this has already been earmarked by others for the purpose of making $.
However, do the needs of the many not outweigh the needs of the few?

Up 49 Down 1

I M the Lorax on Oct 2, 2022 at 10:27 am

Know why there are firewood shortages? Because Yukoners are willing to pretend we are short of trees. Going along to get along with these tyrants is going to freeze and starve us all to death. Wakey, wakey. Quit trying to convince the cannibals to eat you last.

Up 28 Down 5

Jeff Donaldson on Oct 1, 2022 at 9:28 pm

I second Bonanzajoe!

Go put the work in! Never bought wood or ever will!

Up 33 Down 7

comen sense on Oct 1, 2022 at 1:34 pm

The one I liked the most, was when the Liberals gave a whole wack of money to Mtn Sima to go green for electric water pumps to make artificial snow but Yukon electric burns diesel in winter months to generate power. Then Justin's preaching threw the media back East after Hurricane Fiona, we must combat climate change after he flys down there in his privote jet.

Up 5 Down 41

Big Daddy on Oct 1, 2022 at 1:04 pm

You guys getting soooo upset over such small potatoes...

Don't you realize, there is this thingy called Walmart and you can go there and simply buy one of those oil-filled radiators and plug it into that thing in your wall where the power comes out?

Sheesh! Do I have to explain everything??

Up 44 Down 10

Wilf Carter on Oct 1, 2022 at 11:11 am

Liberals and NDP don't want anyone to burn firewood anymore. But give permits to biomass plants like the school in Copper Ridge which puts out 5 to 7 times the carbon burning firewood in your house. Where the hydro green energy???

Up 87 Down 3

Dave on Oct 1, 2022 at 6:39 am

Ah the Yukon. Where in spite of never ending empty land stretching in every direction there is a government invented and orchestrated lack of availability for land to build a home and live on. Where in spite of forests and forest fire killed trees covering thousands of square kilometres in every direction there is now a shortage of firewood to heat our tiny population with. Our system is broken.

Up 59 Down 3

Catching up to them on Sep 30, 2022 at 10:42 pm

This has been a problem for a few years now but seems to finally be coming to a head. Involving yesab in the process of releasing lots for firewood was obviously a horrible idea.

Up 48 Down 4

bonanzajoe on Sep 30, 2022 at 7:07 pm

There's plenty of wood in our back yards. All a person has to do is buy a chain saw and axe. Years ago, when I was burning wood, I never bought a stick - I cut it myself. If there is a law against cutting wood, repeal it. Cutting one's own wood won't cause global warming but will help house warming.

Up 20 Down 17

Naturelover on Sep 30, 2022 at 6:58 pm

The birds figured it out 70 million years ago.

Migrate south for the winter.

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