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Finance critic Brad Cathers

Life remains unaffordable under Liberals, Yukon Party says

Recent data from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics confirm the territorial Liberals’ response to rising everyday costs is failing, the Yukon Party said Monday.

By Whitehorse Star on January 24, 2023

Recent data from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics confirm the territorial Liberals’ response to rising everyday costs is failing, the Yukon Party said Monday.

The bureau has announced the December year-over-year Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Whitehorse was “a staggering 8.1 per cent – the highest in Canada,” the Yukon Party noted.

“Even more concerning, from November to December 2022, Whitehorse was the only jurisdiction in the country where CPI rose, while the number in every other jurisdiction fell,” the party said.

“The Yukon Party official Opposition has been sounding the alarm over rising inflation and the cost of living since the spring of 2022, as well as offering numerous suggestions to help offset the cost of groceries, fuel, and housing.

“Instead, the out-of-touch Liberals introduced a suite of measures that were too little, too late, especially for seniors and elders on fixed incomes.”

The Liberals also continue to support tax increases, the party added, “including an increase to the carbon tax, and charging GST on that tax.”

“We continue to hear how Yukoners are being crunched by the rising cost of living,” added Finance critic Brad Cathers.

“The Liberals have been focused on implementing NDP policies such as a rent cap, which both landlords and tenants are telling us is actually hurting the housing market and driving up housing costs. It is concerning the new premier, who says he wants to hear ideas from all sides, is pursuing a new Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA) that will only increase costs.”

Last fall, the legislative assembly passed a motion from the Yukon Party to have the carbon tax exempted from home heating fuel.

The party has also proposed suspending the territorial fuel tax, doubling the Pioneer Utility Grant, and increasing the amount claimed by the Home Owners Grant, as well as pushing to reduce the red tape on fuel wood harvesting, which “would then reduce costs to consumers,” the YP added.

In addition to the cost of living, items in the CASA agreement have been tied to the CPI, in particular increases to minimum wage, the party pointed out.

“The territorial Liberal government has yet to inform Yukon businesses how much the minimum wage will increase on April 1, 2023, affecting operating costs and potentially further increasing consumer prices,” the official Opposition said.

On April 1, 2022, the Yukon’s minimum wage rose to $15.70 per hour.

Asked about the Yukon Party’s comments, cabinet communications staff acknowledged in a statement today that “inflation is a real concern here in the Yukon, across the country, and around the world.

“On an annual average basis, the Consumer Price Index in Whitehorse increased by 6.8 per cent in 2022, the same amount as Canada, and less than several other Canadian jurisdictions,” the statement added.

“For the past six years, the Yukon Liberal government has pursued policies and investments to make life more affordable for Yukoners, including cutting taxes, raising the minimum wage, and developing a carbon pricing rebate system to ensure all revenues collected by the federal government are returned to Yukoners.”

The Yukon Party and the NDP supported updates to the carbon pricing rebate system in the fall of 2022, the statement noted.

“This year, Yukoners are receiving more, on average, than they pay in carbon pricing. In 2021, the Yukon Liberal government introduced the territory’s first-ever universal, affordable childcare program, saving Yukon families up to $700 per child, per month.

“Not only has this put more money in the pockets of Yukon families, the Yukon is now recognized as a national leader in early learning and childcare.”

Additionally, in 2022, the government provided nearly $5 million worth of inflation relief, including higher payments to Yukoners receiving social assistance and seniors, more funding for Food Network Yukon, a 10-per-cent top-up to the Pioneer Utility Grant, and rebates on the purchase of firewood, the statement pointed out

As well, the Inflation Relief Rebate program also provided $300 in rebates to help all residential and commercial customers in the territory afford their electrical bills.

“This had a broad impact, helping those on fixed incomes and in rural communities.

“Despite the Yukon Party’s mismanagement of rate applications in the past, electricity rates in the Yukon remain the lowest in the North.

“The Yukon government remains focused on making life more affordable for Yukon families through strategic investments.”

Comments (29)

Up 0 Down 0

AdmiralA$$ on Feb 2, 2023 at 6:43 am

If the whole world is such a big crisis why is Swiss inflation only 3%? Oh yeah, because they didn't print billions for nothing. Again amazing what a real central bank can do for the people.

Up 0 Down 0

Chuck Farley on Jan 30, 2023 at 7:49 pm

Life remains unaffordable under Liberals, NDP, Conservatives, Republican, Democrat, doesn't matter who is in power, and there's no waving the magic wand.

Up 5 Down 0

Jim on Jan 29, 2023 at 10:24 pm

@Will, so you think the elimination of carbon tax is just a conservative dog whistle? Maybe you should think beyond the gallon of gas you have to buy to drive. You do realize that everything in Canada is shipped by truck from one end of the country to the other. Most likely on several trucks whom all charge a fuel surcharge to cover their share of carbon tax (plus profit). Farmers harvest their crops with tractors, combines etc. grocery stores and warehouses have to power and heat their facilities. The problem is this carbon tax just ups the price of everything you buy, usually compounded because there are several hands involved. Our energy costs have skyrocketed because of world prices. But that doesn’t mean that the government should raise taxes even more on energy products. But they are. Our little Turd in Ottawa and his henchmen along with the NDP all voted for the tax increase. And to no surprise, our Liberals and NDP in the territory see no problem with it.
The rent freezes you talk about actually has shown to hurt more than it helps, with the sale of rentals and evictions so new rent prices can be charged. Meanwhile landlords costs have risen by more that 3 times the allowable rent increase. It was just announced by revenue Canada that it will be too much effort to look into the 15 billion CERB over payments. So yes, government over spending, government printing money and inflation is cause by government. Carbon tax is only a small portion in comparison, but it still deserves a rethink. As far as rent control, maybe you should be sending a note to Kate to uses her sway with the new premier. I’m sure he will be anxious to keep the status quo. I’m sure Ranj doesn’t want to set a record for the shortest term as premier.

Up 10 Down 1

Bell on Jan 28, 2023 at 4:30 pm

Admiral and Dallas you may want to up the wattage on your bulbs or just sit in the window all day....spring is coming.
People talking about country wide forget we are on a continent and it's one of a few on the Planet....the world is in economic crisis and it's governments to blame all right...the ones at war, the ones with resources holding cards and there are lots of others with their heads down because the economics is that shakey.
While folks in Canada are picketing the right to identify as a cat they are setting themselves up for horror as the world is not going to give one iota when the gloves come off.
It's not in our country's control and I doubt any party is really thrilled at the future outlook. For certain the YP are glad the Liberals have to take the brunt of this.

Up 18 Down 1

AdmiralA$$ on Jan 28, 2023 at 8:00 am

Oh and let's not forget the grocery store basher. Yeah right sure.

There is always unlimited demand the point of real economics is to try to satisfy unlimited demand with limited supply. If you have pumped billions into the system for nothing you just increased demand without supply. So yes government caused. Not the poor grocery store. Again the grocery store pays on the PPI not the CPI and there costs have gone up more then ours. Twits need to start blaming the real cause, government.

Up 10 Down 3

AdmiralA$$ on Jan 28, 2023 at 7:54 am

It's Canada wide folks nothing to see here.

Oblivious to house inflation works. Of course it Canada wide, What a bunch of tripe. Lesson one, Government created inflation. Public school on full display again. Statement like that one prove how sad the people around us are.

Up 0 Down 2

Ramen on Jan 27, 2023 at 4:57 pm

Putting things in perspective: Brad bills the taxpayers travel and per diems from LeBarge to the tune of $25,000 per year. That could pay rent for a family for a whole year!

Ask yourself who Brad us looking out for. Here’s a hint: Brad

Up 14 Down 21

YukonMax on Jan 27, 2023 at 6:40 am

I speak to my mom back east every week. She tels me how much the price of food goes up every single week. It's Canada wide folks. Liberals, Cons and NDP aren't the cause. Big corporations are the ones bleeding us dry.

Up 13 Down 22

Will on Jan 26, 2023 at 5:15 pm

The Yukon Party has opposed all rental caps etc that the NDP have coordinated with the libs.
Given that many Yukoners experiencing financial hardships are also renters or looking for rental accommodation, I’m curious what the YP would do to make things more affordable. Cost of housing is the #1 issue and dumping the Carbon tax is nothing but a conservative dog whistle.
The YP trying to out NDP the NDP just doesn’t jive.

Up 21 Down 4

Juniper Jackson on Jan 26, 2023 at 3:07 pm

People that can go out and get another job, or get in some overtime have a handle on our rising cost of living. Those of us who are in fixed income positions are somewhat screwed. YTG does not cover all senior drugs. They cost an arm and a leg, but then, what is the price of life? Pensions have not risen to cover the cost, my $100. used to cover my food for the month, barring bread and milk here and there, lunch out every other week. Small things. Now, that $100 pays for my medicine, and my kids so kindly buy most of my groceries. So what if you have kids that are struggling and can't help Mom?

Those folks that bought the 5,000,000. + houses are paying so much in mortgage, fee's, working debts, like car and gas, business clothes, day care.. i don' t they have it any better.

I will be delighted to give the Yukon Party a shot at getting us out of this mess. They can hardly do any worse than the Liberals. The NDP under Kate, have lost whatever she might have garnered, though I understand her riding likes her. I used to like her quite well..but not so much after her true colors came out.

Pillai really needs to call an election. Then we'll find out where the bear s*** in the buckwheat.

Up 13 Down 8

John - with a J on Jan 26, 2023 at 11:06 am

One of the biggest rip offs is food prices. But despite this I have yet to see anybody ballsy enough to picket grocery stores anywhere. They are making record profits and everybody just shrugs their shoulders and continues to get ripped off. Maybe if protesters showed up on their doorstep something would be done.

Up 15 Down 7

Dallas on Jan 25, 2023 at 5:40 pm

If YOU have ever voted liberal or ndp at any point in your life You were part of the problem and if YOU still vote liberal or ndp YOU are the problem….education and intelligent are not requirements for voting unfortunately…

Up 10 Down 1

Thrifty on Jan 25, 2023 at 5:09 pm

There are many of us Gen Xers who grew up with high interest rates and have real phobias to buying anything on time.
Problem these days is for the last couple of decades, money has been cheap and buying toys on time has become the norm.
People these days have house that are bigger/fancier than they need, two cars they’re paying for, rec vehicles, credit card debt, the whole shebang.
And here we are…..

Up 28 Down 35

Davis on Jan 25, 2023 at 12:19 pm

As if our situation would be any different under the Yukon Party...

Up 6 Down 34

TheHammer on Jan 25, 2023 at 11:18 am

Affordability is an NDP agenda. Maybe YP is looking for a power sharing with NDP! How low are they stoop to win?

Up 18 Down 7

AdmiralA$$ on Jan 25, 2023 at 6:59 am

But how??!! We give out all these monies how is the cost of living still going up. Can we not just spend our way out of debt I'm sure that is what public school teachers are teaching now.

All this keynesian top down economics is coming to a head with Cathers croc tears on how much it cost me to live in this socialist dump. What a joke, just as much of a joke as this governments fiscal policies while crying about the cost of living.

Forgive me for not suckholing all the con MPs around for apparently getting us out of this pandemic like some sort of sycophant. We are out of nothing you idiots, your reaction over the past 3 years has made sure the next 300 years of Canadians will live deep in poverty, but hey...you got to virtue signal for 3 years so win? What a sad joke to even pretend to care now guys.

Up 19 Down 29

BnR on Jan 25, 2023 at 6:20 am

Guy with a grade 12 education holding forth on the economy is why I love Yukon politics.
Seriously though, The Yukons economy is booming. Dealers can’t keep recreational vehicles in stock, every second vehicle is a new truck.
The Carbon tax is a pittance and wouldn’t make a significant difference.

Up 36 Down 8

Donald on Jan 25, 2023 at 5:03 am

Dump the carbon tax hurting working people .
Heat is a big expense so taxing (carbon) and taxing on the tax (GST) is crazy.

Up 15 Down 24

Moose on Jan 24, 2023 at 7:12 pm

So the Yukon Party blames the Liberals for inflation problems and then goes on to say that the Liberals "introduced a suite of measures that were too little, too late, especially for seniors and elders on fixed incomes.” So basically, the Yukon Party is saying that the Liberals need to spend EVEN MORE to help people with inflation, even though spending more would actually increase inflation.

Is there really no political party in the Yukon that understands economics? Maybe that new Yukon Freedom Party?

Up 25 Down 7

Facts not feelings on Jan 24, 2023 at 5:55 pm

One of the first things Trudeau did was cancel income splitting.
This made life a lot less affordable. That's one of my many, many complaints about this government whose best by date ended somewhere around 2018.

Up 45 Down 6

Really on Jan 24, 2023 at 4:21 pm

While I don’t disagree with you Yukon Party, PLEASE explain exactly what you could do any differently. And by do, I mean actually do.

Up 22 Down 8

Anonymous on Jan 24, 2023 at 4:04 pm

I'm leaving at the end of the month. Have fun, good luck.

Up 34 Down 5

bonanzajoe on Jan 24, 2023 at 3:57 pm

The NDP Marxists are always promising the people prosperity, but continue supporting the Liberals - both Territorially and National. It's pretty obvious to me it's only because they don't want to jeopardize their elected offices - pensions etc. So, they choose not to shoot the golden goose.

Up 34 Down 7

John - with a J on Jan 24, 2023 at 3:16 pm

As far as I’m concerned none of the parties are capable of governing properly.
There all a bunch of morons.

Up 24 Down 13

Smart enough to not have children on Jan 24, 2023 at 2:20 pm

They keep touting child care benefits and dental benefits for kids. What about is smart ones who weren’t so reckless and decided not to have children. Why do we get nothing? Why do irresponsible people who choose to have children get a bail out but smart hardworking childless households get the shaft??

Up 8 Down 9

Wilf Carter on Jan 24, 2023 at 2:17 pm

No kidding with 11% inflation across Canada on food according Stat-can What is it in Yukon 18%. Canada have gone from 600,000 to 3,200,000 according to Feds own numbers. With 600,000 just kids.

Up 20 Down 4

Jeff Bikaboom on Jan 24, 2023 at 2:04 pm

In 2015 Canada's debt was 612 billion, now it is 1.06 trillion. In 2022 the debt ceiling was raised from 1.168 trillion to 1,831,000,000,000. This money created from nothing needs payed back with interest. Inflation is the result of this scheme, the harms of which appear to have been accelerated intentionally since 2015. This is similar to the USA where acceleration began in 2020.

Up 27 Down 19

Nathan Living on Jan 24, 2023 at 1:00 pm

It must be awkward for Brad to speak on this issue when he gets generous financial compensation for meals and mileage when just going to work.

Up 31 Down 7

john on Jan 24, 2023 at 11:35 am

This premier guy does not have a mandate to run the territory. Call an election.

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