Carbon pricing: the premier responds

No one needs to remind anyone in Yukon or the North that climate change is real — it has changed our day-to-day lives more than anywhere in Canada.

No one needs to remind anyone in Yukon or the North that climate change is real — it has changed our day-to-day lives more than anywhere in Canada. Our winters are shorter, invasive species like the pine beetle are now present in the territory, changes to our waterways are affecting water and energy systems, fish habitat and traditional ways of life, and our risk of catastrophic forest fires is increasing.

We are already paying the cost of adapting to our changing climate as melting permafrost damages roads, schools and other infrastructure.

But that doesn’t mean Yukoners should have to bear the brunt of an ineffective carbon tax. Those advocating for what is effectively a new consumption tax need to stop suggesting that it will miraculously alter Yukon’s carbon emissions. Because it won’t.

We live in a diverse country and our response to climate change should reflect this diversity. Yukoners are already doing more than our part to take action. We are in an enviable position compared to other jurisdictions: 95 per cent of Yukon’s electricity is generated by green sources.

We have implemented a light fleet vehicles purchase policy at our fleet vehicle agency that emphasizes environmental stewardship.

We are performing energy audits on specific buildings to identify how performance can be improved through energy efficient retrofits.

We committed that all Yukon government construction and renovations will meet or exceed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified standard for energy efficiency.

We are partnering with the Kluane First Nation to build wind turbines to power their community, and we extended the Mayo-Stewart transmission line to link the hydroelectric grid and eliminate 30,000 tonnes of carbon annually from our emissions by taking Pelly Crossing off diesel.

There are ways to deal with these issues without burdening Yukoners with taxes they cannot afford.

As a result, I cannot support politicians from other parts of the country, where the issues and the solutions are significantly different, imposing a national carbon tax on Yukoners.

The reality is that Yukon’s highest carbon emissions come from heating homes, and transporting food and goods to our territory. We can’t stop heating homes in the winter and we can’t suddenly grow and manufacture everything we need to live here. We don’t have easy choices or options, so a tax on carbon here is not the solution.

As premier of Yukon, I will ensure we continue to do our part to take action against climate change. We are planning a Next Generation Hydro project, recently expanded to include the consideration of smaller hydroelectric sites and other forms of renewable energy. We are retrofitting the main Yukon government administration building to reduce our emissions by 425 tonnes of carbon annually.

We are already leaders when it comes to cutting our carbon emissions here in Yukon. Let’s keep pursuing a made-in-Yukon approach that continues to combat climate change, but doesn’t take more money out of the wallets of Yukoners.

Darrell Pasloski, Whitehorse

Just Posted

Finance employee charged with allegedly defrauding Yukon government of nearly $50k

Michael Kipkirui was arrested Nov. 12 and is facing eight criminal charges

CBC North reverses decision to replace local a.m. newscasts with ‘pan-northern’ model

Staff at CBC Yukon felt ‘shock and disappointment’ over the original plan, made public Nov. 18

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Reclamation fund being explored in wake of Wolverine Mine receivership

The Yukon government isn’t going to require mines pay more than 100 per cent in security

Yukon Rivermen split first home series of the season

The team won its home opener 4-1 against the North Central Zone Bobcats

Yukoner Jessica Frotten racks up top 10s at World Para Athletics Championships

“I’m really putting everything I’ve got into making that Canadian team for Tokyo”

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

Whitehorse biathlete Nadia Moser earns IBU World Cup spot on Canadian team

Whitehorse’s Nadia Moser will begin the biathlon season at the IBU World… Continue reading

Whitehorse Glacier Bears host swimmers from Inuvik and B.C. at Ryan Downing Memorial Invitational Swim Meet

“Everyone had a good time – it was amazing. It was a really great meet.”

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Nov. 12 Whitehorse council meeting

Driving with Jens: Yielding is at the heart of defensive driving

If you’re like most people, you probably think about whether you have right-of-way, not yielding

Today’s mailbox: Remembrance Day, highway work

Letters to the editor published Nov. 13

F.H. Collins Warriors beat Vanier Crusaders in Super Volley boys volleyball final

“As long as we can control their big plays to a minimum, we’ll be successful”

Most Read