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Yukon opposition grills premier: will carbon tax work?

'He was asked if the carbon tax would actually be effective in meeting our environmental goals and his response was, ‘Time will tell,’' said Yukon's opposition leader Stacey Hassard.

Yukon Party leader Stacey Hassard accuses premier of not doing his homework

'[The premier] was asked if the carbon tax would actually be effective in meeting our environmental goals, and his response was, ‘Time will tell,’' said Yukon's opposition leader Stacey Hassard. (Steve Hossack/CBC)

Yukon opposition leader Stacey Hassard took the government to task on Tuesday, saying the premier isn't even sure whether a carbon tax will achieve anything.

Hassard referred to a TV interview Premier Sandy Silver gave this week in Ottawa, where Silver was asked whether it was too late to undo the impacts of climate change.

"He was asked if the carbon tax would actually be effective in meeting our environmental goals and his response was, 'Time will tell,' ... 'We'll see,'" said Hassard in the Legislature. 

"The premier doesn't even know if this tax scheme will work, so why did he sign on to this tax scheme in the first place?"

Silver — whose party came to power in 2016 on a promise to support a carbon tax — shot back, saying that he has no doubts about the plan.

'We will see the results,' said Premier Sandy Silver. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada)

"Yes, time will tell, based upon a scientific approach to dealing with the effects of climate change," he said.

 "We will see — that's exactly what I said, and that's exactly what I mean. We will see the results."

'Decision-based evidence making'

Hassard kept up the attack, asking what kind of analysis the government has done to determine how carbon pricing will work and what the impacts will be in Yukon.

"The premier just says and does what Ottawa asks him to do," he said.

"The premier likes to brag about evidence-based decision making, a lot ... instead, what the premier is doing here is decision-based evidence making."

Silver also met with federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna this week to discuss carbon pricing in Yukon, which takes effect next July.

He says the plan is still in the works.

"Conversations are definitely ongoing, no announce-ables yet," said Silver.

- With files from Nancy Thomson

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