Yukoners can’t afford a national carbon tax, MPs hear

TWO HILLS, AB – Last week, Shannon Stubbs, Member of Parliament for Lakeland and Official Opposition Deputy Critic for Natural Resources and David Yurdiga, Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray – Cold Lake and Official Opposition Critic for Northern Affairs, traveled to Yukon to meet with key natural resources, business, First Nation and territorial leaders.

Recently, the Trudeau Liberal government said they will introduce a national carbon-pricing scheme in the fall, although no details have been provided. Canada’s territorial premiers have taken a united stance against any national one-size-fits-all carbon tax, coming out strongly after the meeting of Canada’s premiers in Yukon two weeks ago.

During their meetings in Whitehorse, M.P. Stubbs and M.P. Yurdiga heard resoundingly from community leaders that a national carbon tax would be a devastating blow to their resource-rich territory, in particular the mining industry already struggling with low commodity prices.

“Ultimately it’s Canadian families, business owners and the middle class who are going to pay the high costs and increased prices of all goods and services, the guaranteed result of yet another tax. This unnecessary tax will disproportionately target and harm rural, northern and natural resources-based communities in Yukon and across Canada,” said M.P. Stubbs. “Piling on more costs, especially during such challenging times, will only make things so much worse. It is a cold-hearted cash grab Canadians just cannot afford.”

The Yukon is currently reliant on fossil fuels in many communities to heat homes, power businesses and support their economy. They are investing in innovation, renewable resources and lowering consumption, but a one-size-fits-all approach just isn’t feasible in all parts of Canada.

“The federal Liberal government may be willing to overspend by $30 million this year, but they can’t expect territories like Yukon to do the same.  Yukon is already at the end of a very long supply chain, with increased costs and challenging economic realities,” said M.P. Stubbs. “Any additional tax will cripple businesses and put undue strain on family budgets.  It’s not simply a matter of reducing consumption or making choices in northern communities in Yukon and other territories.”

M.P. Stubbs and M.P. Yurdiga assured Yukoners with whom they met that they will continue to hold the Trudeau Liberal government to account, and challenge them in any way possible on the issue of a national carbon tax.  The Official Opposition will ensure the voices of Yukoners are heard, and not forgotten.