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‘We want to be on the right side of history’

A territorial Liberal government would do everything it could to ensure any money collected in the Yukon through a federal carbon tax makes its way back directly into the pockets of Yukoners.

By Stephanie Waddell on September 26, 2016

A territorial Liberal government would do everything it could to ensure any money collected in the Yukon through a federal carbon tax makes its way back directly into the pockets of Yukoners.

That was the message from the party this morning during a press conference held at the Liberal campaign office at the Yukon Centre Mall off Second Avenue.

There, Liberal Leader Sandy Silver and John Streicker, the party’s candidate for Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes in the pending election, set out the party’s plans on carbon taxing and reducing the carbon emissions in the territory.

Silver remained clear throughout the press conference that the territory will have little influence over whether a federal carbon tax is instituted.

Ottawa has been clear on plans for a carbon tax to happen across the country, he pointed out.

“A federal carbon tax is coming,” he said.

“The only room left for discussion is how it will work. Pretending otherwise is failing to stand up for Yukoners.”

While Premier Darrell Pasloski has vocally opposed any carbon tax on the territory, Silver pointed out, there are also government officials tasked with participating in a national working group looking at how the tax would be implemented.

While the premier thinks Yukoners can be “conned,” Silver told reporters, the Liberals believe that’s “cynical politics.”

While it will be up to the federal government to decide on a federal carbon tax, Silver said, a Liberal territorial government would like any money collected here to come back to the Yukon – specifically, directly to Yukoners.

Ultimately, that too would be up to the federal government, but Silver argued through “honest and respectful dialogue,” his potential government could work with Ottawa to retain and collect the funds from the tax to be returned to Yukoners.

“This will be truly revenue-neutral,” Silver said, arguing that “honest, respectful dialogue works.”

The money would be rebated to Yukoners, though both Silver and Streicker said the exact details of any program wouldn’t be known until after discussions with other governments and stakeholders.

“We don’t want to take a decision on it yet,” Streicker said of the finer details of a rebate program.

As they outlined, such a rebate program would mean paying for carbon (and thus the more carbon used, the more it would cost at the outset, thus encouraging people to reduce their carbon footprint).

Meanwhile, it would also ensure that those who may be struggling on lower incomes are not negatively affected.

With the money going back into the hands of Yukoners, it would then circulate again through the territory’s economy.

“We want to be on the right side of history with this one,” Silver said.

The two responded to questions about whether the Liberals see a case for some sort of exemption or lower tax on carbon for northern regions.

Silver and Streicker emphasized that Ottawa has been clear it will move forward with a carbon tax.

“We’re trying to prepare (for that),” Streicker said

He and Silver emphasized the Liberal stance that environment and economy don’t have to be at odds with one another.

They cited further plans that would see a Liberal government come up with a major retrofit plan for the territory.

That measure would result in ongoing work to buildings throughout the Yukon in an effort to bring down the carbon footprint, and work to put in energy alternatives and pilot projects in renewable energy storage options.

As Streicker pointed out, the territory has an abundance of renewable energy available through the summer that is lacking in the winter, and looking at storage options could result in less of a carbon footprint down the road.

Finally, plans were also outlined that would see investments made in community greenhouses and food storage in an effort to make more local food available, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the territory that much more.

Throughout this morning’s news conference, Streicker and Silver emphasized the importance of working with other governments, ensuring that land use planning is on track, and having detailed information on carbon emissions in the territory.

“No Yukon government can impose a carbon tax,” said Silver.

“The Taxpayers Protection Act requires any new tax to be agreed to by Yukoners in a referendum.”

See Yukon Party reaction to Silver’s remarks.

Comments (22)

Up 7 Down 3

Yukoner 43 on Oct 1, 2016 at 5:21 pm

@carbontax "That’s right: 98.4 per cent of global emissions would be completely unchanged even if every single Canadian stopped barbecuing, driving or heating the house. And even that progress could be erased as emerging markets build power plants. "

Well by that logic we shouldn't have sent any soldiers to fight in WW2 since Russia, Britain, the USA etc would have gotten the job done eventually. Canada's contribution was very small in terms of total allied soldiers. So in your view I guess it was pointless to contribute to the cause.

Up 9 Down 6

NoCarbonTax on Sep 30, 2016 at 6:42 pm

Carbon Taxes do not reduce GHG emissions. B.C.’s carbon tax is supposed to reduce emissions. But B.C.’s emissions are rising.
“Since 2010, B.C.’s GHG emissions have increased every year,” said economist Mark Lee. “As of 2013 they are up 4.3 per cent above 2010 levels.”
Lee doesn’t work for an anti-carbon tax think tank. He works for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. And he doesn’t mince words.
“Let’s cut the crap about B.C.’s carbon tax,” said Lee. “To be truly effective, carbon taxes will need to be much higher than B.C.’s current rates.”
Let’s consider that scenario. Imagine a carbon tax so high that it not only reduces emissions, it completely eliminates emissions for all of Canada.

That would lower global emissions by 1.6 per cent. That’s right: 98.4 per cent of global emissions would be completely unchanged even if every single Canadian stopped barbecuing, driving or heating the house. And even that progress could be erased as emerging markets build power plants.

Don't be fooled into believing that carbon taxes benefit anyone besides the tax collectors.

Up 20 Down 16

north_of_60 on Sep 29, 2016 at 9:47 pm

"‘We want to be on the right side of history’" - Silver

I don't believe that for a moment.
The LIBs including Mr. Silver and his cohorts have always been on the LEFT global-socialist side of history, That won't change.
They don't represent voters; they tell voters what's best for them.
Tax&Spend is the only way they know to govern.

Up 14 Down 13

O my the liberal NDP tax gods are up set to see the trurth on Sep 29, 2016 at 7:35 pm

because we don't need a carbon tax to reduce carbon emissions in Canada.
We need strategic investment to come out of existing revenues to reduce Canadian problems.
Dreamy tax politicians think taxes solve every problem in Canada, which it does not.
Liberals and NDP need to get some smart thinkers.
Yukon Party is on the right track but liberals are on the rails and the NDP follow them.

Up 15 Down 17

What did the Premier sign again on Sep 29, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Climate change and reduce carbon and some form of pricing, not for a tax.
You don't need a carbon tax to reduce carbon emissions.
If auto and truck manufactures reduced the emissions put out that would meet more than Canada's target.
This was done before and can be done again.
This tells Yukoners and Canadians we do not need a carbon tax.

Up 19 Down 11

Future of the Yukon going into the tiolet on Sep 29, 2016 at 9:45 am

The next Yukon Government will have to cut services and lay off 100's of people.
That is the bottom line and results of these actions.

Up 26 Down 25

Moose on Sep 28, 2016 at 9:34 pm

The real story is that the Yukon Party desperately needs this to be an issue since they've destroyed our economy and justice system (confirmed facts).

It's quite obvious since they are blasting this false message on all of their ads....emptying the bank account which they know will be replenished with outside money. All aboard the Yukon fundraising yacht! In Vancouver of course.

Up 16 Down 16

Jarbin Carbin on Sep 28, 2016 at 9:27 pm

Two things that we we could do as Yukoners right off the top to help emissions is 1: Make drive thrus for beverages only, let's not allow people to order meals for the whole family thus increasing idling time by 400 percent. 2: Make fourth avenue 4 lanes again, the amount of idling on that street waiting for traffic and lights is out to lunch.

Up 28 Down 25

Jack A on Sep 28, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Okay, let's get the facts. The Paz signed the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change in March 2016. It provides that when an agreement is reached on carbon pricing it will be "adapted to each province's specific circumstances and in particular the realities of Canada's indigenous peoples and Arctic and sub-Arctic regions."

What does this mean. Well, the Paz signed an agreement that provides that there will be some form of tax in each province and territory. Why is the Paz dodging the truth? This sounds a lot like the Peel issue in the last election: the Paz dodged an issue even though the YP had an established position that it immediately implemented after the election. After this election, whatever government is formed in the Yukon will have to take steps to implement the obligations of the Vancouver Declaration that the Paz signed. Nice try, YP.

Up 20 Down 17

north_of_60 on Sep 28, 2016 at 1:40 pm

The LIB and NDP will impose new taxes; they'll even use the weather as an excuse to tax us more. "Revenue neutral" is LIBspeak for BOHICA.
If a tax is supposedly "revenue neutral" then it's not needed.
Someone will pay for any new tax and they will pass that cost on to their customers.

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do with the approval of their own conscience."
--C. S. Lewis

Up 15 Down 20

Liberals just lost the Yukon election on Sep 27, 2016 at 11:49 am

WE knew that would blow it and Sandy does have it to be Premier

Up 29 Down 11

Charles on Sep 27, 2016 at 12:41 am

Right boys; the money comes back to Yukoners? We already have great incentives/grants in place to upgrade appliances/wood stoves necessary to a northern life style. As someone else pointed out on another post, we already pay a type of carbon tax on items being shipped from BC. Time the Fed Libs woke up & exempted 3 territories from carbon tax or else moved their cushy butts north of 60 to experience all that folk down south do to add to carbon that we don't do. Just as our population, our emissions are minuscule. I have done my part as far as I am able so show me your personal efforts, Sandy & John & get your head out of the sand on the tax thing.

Up 32 Down 14

Oh, and you... on Sep 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm

...want my vote. Read these words - NOT A CHANCE IN HADES !!!

Typical Liberals. Gee they will kill us if we raise the GST. Aha we got it, let's get the tax money we need for our junkets and goofy projects by being warm and fuzzy. Canadians are suckers, so let's use it to our advantage. We will tax the masses through a carbon tax. Oh wait it gets better. It will be revenue neutral. Oh and how pray tell will the genie make that work? How will anyone know how much individually we spend on this gouge so that we get back what we pay? Right, no one will know! So we will just give you a few coins, pat you on the head and tell you what a wonderful thing you are doing for the planet. All the while the Scrooges in Ottawa - Liberals - will be rubbing their mucky little paws with glee while they spend more of our hard earned money. Ah, but fear not - they don't care - remember these words "THEY DON'T CARE".

When we talk about this kind of tax remember it will affect "everything" we do and buy. That is because it has a cascading affect. Raise fuel prices and believe it when I say it will get passed on to guess who - you and me. Our groceries will go up, home heating, rents, everything will rise so that businesses can offset the gouge. The only winners are the jerks in Ottawa and any other province that succumbs to this thievery!

If all you wanna-be carbon tax people think it is a great idea then I have a suggestion. Let's make it voluntary. That way those that want it can pay into it and those that don't will not. Me - you won't get my hard earned money. You don't deserve it...

Up 27 Down 9

jc on Sep 26, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Then, I guess the only alternative is to dump the federal liberals. And you really can't blame smiley, because he told us what he was going to do during the election campaign. But people voted him in anyway.

Up 19 Down 31

Politico on Sep 26, 2016 at 8:16 pm

Nice to see the YP spin party lying about everything. The posturing by the chief dinosaur will have no effect on the Lib Gov in Ottawa. All Paz is trying to do is create the old us verses the outsiders to make it seem like he's the only one who can save us. To bad the YP can't see the writing on the wall. It's going to happen, nothing anyone can do about it. How do we mitigate the tax effects, that is the question.

Up 13 Down 7

Mark Sanders on Sep 26, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Josey Wales- don't waste an opportunity to trash government workers.

Why not be a little more civil.

Up 23 Down 6

Max Mack on Sep 26, 2016 at 6:53 pm

It's "nice" to see that the territorial Liberals have worked out their messaging with Justin.

A carbon sin tax, as others have correctly called it, will do little to reduce the carbon footprint of Yukoners and will do absolutely nothing to reduce the effect of AGW (if such a thing exists). It will act as a further brake on the economy, raising prices of almost everything.

And a "revenue-neutral" carbon tax completely defeats the purpose of the tax, which is to simultaneously penalize folks for using petroleum while raising revenue for the enormously expensive task of conversion to "green energy".

One aspect (not disclosed by advocates of a "carbon price") is that petroleum fuel consumption is highly price-elastic. To make a meaningful difference in consumption patterns, the price increase would have to hit hard. Very hard. Hard enough that consumers will think twice before buying a litre of gas or home heating oil. Unless Silver/Streicker and the warming alarmists are willing to force the population to incur that kind of cost, a "carbon price" will neither be effective or efficient.

Up 29 Down 12

ProScience Greenie on Sep 26, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Yes, many are cynical of a carbon sin tax. As if it won't be mostly used very inefficiently by government with lots siphoned off by the other levels of government, consultants, contractors, companies, societies and the rest of the tax dollar graft and waste machinery in the Yukon. You'd have to have your head buried in the sand up here not to see that. Or be part of the graft and waste machinery. It's just the way it is here and it sucks.

If the Yukon Libs promised to streamline and reduce government waste and bloat at all levels (which would greatly reduce the Yukon's GHG emissions) then the level of cynicism would be reduced. They'd get more votes on that than by telling Yukoners to simply bend over and that they will try to help lessen the pain of taking this new sin tax from Ottawa.

Also, too many warm and fuzzy green optics Sandy and John. Optics don't reduce GHG emissions they cause more. Not good.

Up 25 Down 22

Josey Wales on Sep 26, 2016 at 4:01 pm

80% of the government workers?
So like a dozen folks, or did you mean 80% of government employees?
Very very big difference between those two words, one is based on merit, the other on attendance.

Up 47 Down 11

Francis Pillman on Sep 26, 2016 at 3:56 pm

How about you worry about jobs? The high crime rate? People stealing vegetables out of a community garden? Nobody cares about your fake tax that does nothing but make us all poorer.

Up 32 Down 9

Do Yukoners want more taxes. on Sep 26, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Anyone from $60,000 income will pay more in taxes. That includes 80% of people working for government.

Up 39 Down 14

This makes no sense at all. on Sep 26, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Why collect taxes and then give it back?
The only gain here is there will be a administration created to collect the tax.
History has shown in the Yukon and other small regions when you put on a specialized tax like this 40- 70% gets eaten up in administration.
Liberals have had a history of doing this.
All the Permits in Canada including liberals, NDP and Conservatives support no carbon tax in the North or Yukon.
What a mess.
How are you going to tax people without having a plan on how to invest it which the Federal and local liberals don't have.
Look at the past Federal government bringing in gas tax rebate money. Great results.
This is wrong and big mistake in the Yukon.

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