Yukon Party stands firm against carbon tax, though others disagree

Party leader Darrell Pasloski says his common sense, and a report from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, are enough to tell him that a carbon tax is bad for Yukon.

Darrell Pasloski says he doesn't need studies to tell him the carbon tax is bad for Yukon

Yukon Party leader Darrell Pasloski says it's common sense to assume the carbon tax will have an overall negative impact on the territory. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Yukon Party leader Darrell Pasloski says he doesn't need a study to tell him the carbon tax is bad for Yukoners.

"Every time there's a new cost in the system, ultimately it's the end user or the consumer who's going to pay more," Pasloski said on Monday.

"The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has just recently came out saying at $50 a tonne, that the average Canadian household is going to pay almost $2,600 extra dollars in taxes." 

Pasloski promised another $33 million for energy retrofits to government buildings on Monday, if his party is re-elected. Last week, he pledged $47 million for similar upgrades to 20 schools in the territory.

Altogether that will reduce the Yukon government's greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent, Pasloski said.

"Yukoners are looking for leadership — a party that's going to stand up and say that we can do our part and reduce our emissions, and not swallow a new tax," he said.

But Whitehorse engineer Forest Pearson disputes that. He's known for building super energy-efficient homes, and wrote on his blog earlier this month that the Yukon Party has it all wrong.

Forest Pearson says that contrary to the Yukon Party's stance, the carbon tax can be good for the territory. (CBC)

"The carbon tax will have almost no measurable impact on the price of goods (and zero impact of the cost of services) because the amount of fuel used to transport goods to the Yukon is very, very small, relative to the value of the goods," Pearson wrote.

2 cents per litre of gas

Pearson says people will see the difference at the gas pump, and on heating fuel, "but it is not much of a difference."

He says the $10 per tonne tax will translate to about two cents per litre of gas.

He also argues that a national carbon tax is an advantage for Yukon, as the territory has a highly educated workforce employed mainly in sectors that produce relatively little carbon.

Still, Pasloski said families who cannot afford extra expenses will be hit hard.

"Our plan will put money into the economy, by creating new jobs as opposed to sucking huge amounts of money out of taxpayers pockets, money they don't have to pay their bills or buy food or to buy hockey equipment for their kids," he said.

But Pasloski has not considered using carbon tax revenue to lower taxes for low income families, or other uses.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said that Darrell Pasloski based his stance against a carbon tax on common sense rather than analysis. In fact, he did not say that.
    Oct 18, 2016 1:12 PM CT

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