Northern premiers join forces on carbon tax

Canada's three Northern Premiers are joining forces to make sure a carbon tax won't hurt northern economies, or further drive up the cost of living.

Carbon tax 'would have a negative impact on quality of life in the North,' say Yukon premier

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski, on left, and N.W.T. Premier Bob McLeod, right, are at the table for the First Ministers' Meeting in Vancouver today. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Canada's three Northern Premiers are joining forces to make sure a carbon tax won't hurt northern economies, or further drive up the cost of living.

'I believe a carbon tax would have a negative impact on quality of life in the North,' Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski said in a joint news release from all three northern governments.

"Canada's climate change goals must be conducted in a way that does not significantly impact northern costs of living, undermine food security or threaten emerging economies."

Pasloski's comments echo those by Nunavut Premier Taptuna, who told the Nunavut legislature Monday that a carbon tax could tip the scales of "a very delicate Northern economy."   

N.W.T. Premier Bob McLeod did not say explicitly whether his government opposes a carbon tax. 

All three premiers want to make sure that detailed economic assessments are made for the North before any national initiatives on climate change are imposed. 

The possibility of a carbon tax is being discussed at the First Ministers Meeting in Vancouver today.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he's prepared to impose a national price on carbon if the premiers fail to come to an agreement.

"The territories are leaders in climate change adaptation because of the front line impacts we are already experiencing," McLeod said in the news release. "We are looking forward to working with the federal government to ensure Canada's national approach to climate change complements our territorial strategies."

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