Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

TAX OBLIGATIONS EXCESSIVE – ‘It’s not a luxury to heat your house in the Yukon,’ says Conservative candidate Jonas Smith, assessing the current tax burden on Canadians.

Smith stresses tax cuts, alternative energy, gun laws

Conservative hopeful Jonas Smith is running on a platform of tax cuts, alternative energy solutions and affordability.

By Gabrielle Plonka on October 18, 2019

Ed. note: here, the Star presents profiles of the territory’s five federal election candidates in alphabetical order. All five candidates’ profiles are available for free to view.

Conservative hopeful Jonas Smith is running on a platform of tax cuts, alternative energy solutions and affordability.

“I believe Yukoners should vote for me, as I will stand up and represent our priorities in Ottawa versus imposing Ottawa’s priorities on us,” Smith told the Star.

Smith, 45, said he believes the Conservative platform will resonate with Yukoners who want their money to go farther and who want flexible firearms legislation.

In a September interview, Smith said he believes Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer would be a capable leader for Canada.

“I think (Scheer) has been constantly underestimated by his opponents and his pundits,” Smith said. “I think any weaknesses perceived by people are actually strengths.”

Aligning with the party on the federal level, Smith has advocated to cut the carbon tax and remove income tax on parental leave benefits. 

Instead of imposing taxes, Smith presents the alternative of tax cuts to incentivize Canadians to make “responsible personal choices” for the environment.

“It’s not a luxury to heat your house in the Yukon,” Smith said, criticizing the tax burden.

In his visits to communities, he said, he’s learned Yukoners are concerned about the environment but are struggling to make ends meet.

“I’m hearing a lot about the environment; people say we all live here because of the environment,” he said. “But charging us more for necessities with the carbon tax isn’t going to make things any better.”

Based on his experience living off-grid, Smith has championed alternative energy solutions, including solar, wind and biomass. He said he wants to eliminate diesel use in the territory.

To increase affordability alongside renewable energy, he references the Conservative plan for tax incentives benefitting Yukoners who retrofit their homes and make other eco-friendly choices.

Smith has also advocated for deregulation and increased self-reliance for First Nations groups. At a debate in August, Smith suggested the Kwanlin Dün First Nation set aside land selections to develop housing and spur an internal income tax boost that would pay for Indigenous programming.

He told the Star he is committed to partnering with Yukon First Nations on additional hydro and green energy projects.

More infrastructure projects, particularly mines, have been a point of focus for Smith as a solution to unemployment and a booster for the economy.

At a debate Wednesday evening in Whitehorse, Smith pointed to the Victoria Gold Mine as an example of First Nations workers actively protecting land and water through their degrees at Yukon College.

Smith is the only candidate to advocate for the current first-past-the-post electoral system. Though he is pro-reform, he says, he doesn’t believe the entire system requires overhaul.

Regarding firearms, Smith told the Star he expects federal firearms legislation to be a “hot topic” for Yukoners.

“I’m hearing at the doors, (legislation) is making it harder to own firearms to feed families, not fighting gang crime in downtown Toronto,” Smith said.

Falling in step with the federal campaign, Smith has openly criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, and has urged Yukoners to make a different choice in Monday’s election.

“As we’ve seen over the past few months, the talk is cheap, and (Trudeau) has been far from the mark,” Smith said. “I can’t, in good faith, support this government any longer.”

Smith, a third-generation Yukoner, is the father to two young daughters.

He is the executive director of the Klondike Placer Miners’ Association and works for the Yukon Producers’ Group. He also volunteers with Every Student, Every Day, Victoria Gold’s student charity.

Smith has previously served as the deputy chief of staff to former premier Darrell Pasloski, and was the president of the Yukon Party. He represented the territory on the CPC’s National Council.

He is known to the music community as a former punk musician, and spent many years in the hospitality industry.

The tight-knit Yukon community has been a point of strength for Smith, who has lived here since 1999 and advertises himself as a worthy representative of all Yukoners.

“I truly believe we can balance our priorities and values,” he said.

Smith’s hobbies still include music, as well as fishing and sport shooting.

Comments (9)

Up 9 Down 1

David Anderson on Oct 23, 2019 at 11:33 am

Does Michael Miller really equate relaxed gun laws with being able to discharge firearms within city limits?
If so, he'd better do some actual research on the issue...

Up 14 Down 21

Michael Miller on Oct 21, 2019 at 12:37 pm

Ya we need relaxed gun laws in Yukon. We should be able to drive our ATVs from our homes and use all trails and parks. If we see something we can shoot and eat even in the Whistle Bend pond or along the river by the Klondike we should have access to it.

Relaxing gun laws will get my vote for sure.

Up 22 Down 8

terger on Oct 21, 2019 at 6:56 am

@Patti Eyre - Just because you don't need one to feed yourself doesn't mean they should be restricted. The Yukon has the highest rate of gun ownership per capita in all of Canada. They are used responsibly for many shooting sports including target shooting and hunting. Hunting in the Yukon is especially important to First Nations peoples such as myself as a cultural pursuit. I consider responsible firearms ownership as a very important issue and it greatly impacts my life and my ability to enjoy the Yukon as one of the first peoples of Canada.
The liberal position looks like it is going to ban certain semi-automatic firearms based solely on their scary looks not on their function. The people who will be affected are the ones who have taken the time to go through the process to legally and safely acquire them. Individuals who have done so do not use them for criminal activity. Controls like these entirely miss the point if you want to stop actual firearms violence. Actual firearms violence is purported by individuals who don't have licenses and they don't use rifles, they use illegally imported handguns from the states. They don't care about further restrictions. Some helpful legislation might increase border control, increase sentencing for this type of crime or go after the social issues that lead to violence in general.

Thanks for your consideration.

Up 18 Down 16

Joe on Oct 20, 2019 at 11:44 am

Haha, this guy is so connected to the Yukon party bunch that messed up the Yukon and thinks we’ve forgotten. haha, good luck beating Lenore.

Up 19 Down 7

Fred norris on Oct 19, 2019 at 2:18 pm

.....He said he wants to eliminate diesel use in the territory......

That’s an incredibly ridiculous statement coming from a “conservative” candidate in an attempt to pander to the Anti-CO2 crowd. I sure hope the CPC has another way of hauling 50,000 kg of groceries, lumber, clothing etc up and down the highway, especially at -40C. I’ve looked up all of their platform, I fail to see their solution to this.

Up 15 Down 19

curious george on Oct 19, 2019 at 12:19 am

Source tells CBC News Daisy Group was acting for the Conservative Party of Canada
Kinsella consulting firm worked to 'seek and destroy' Bernier's PPC party: documents

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/project-cactus-maxime-bernier-1.5327555

In a statement to CBC News on Friday, the executive director of the PPC said "It hardly comes as a surprise that the Conservative Party of Canada would be behind such disgraceful and cowardly tactics."
"As our Leader Maxime Bernier stated when he left the CPC and repeated on numerous occasions since then, they are 'morally and intellectually corrupt.' And today, this story proves it without a doubt," Johanne Mennie said in an email.
says it all folks. Shame!

Up 11 Down 12

Jonas for President on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:44 pm

Do you know the difference between a Liberal and a Conservative politician?
They will both steal your wallet but the Liberal politician will help you look for it!

Up 16 Down 13

lie detector on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:11 pm

so let me get this right...
Kinsella firm hired to ‘seek and destroy’ Bernier’s People’s Party, documents show - released by Globe and Mail friday evening.

Laura Stone reports: A source with direct knowledge of the project said the client listed in the documents is the Conservative Party of Canada.

Up 30 Down 46

Patti Eyre on Oct 18, 2019 at 4:13 pm

Perceived weaknesses are actually strengths? What are we, all in grade 3 and being offered the play-doh to munch on? Also how the heck can he be a third generation sourdough if he's only lived here since 1999? gun ownership is not an issue here: you don't NEED a gun to feed your family. I don't have guns and I'm doing just fine!

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