Chamber should find local voice to argue against carbon pricing

Carbon pricing has been a topic of much discussion during this election, so it’s great to see the Yukon Chamber of Commerce taking the lead and presenting an objective, impartial and balanced view of the issue in its luncheon.

Carbon pricing has been a topic of much discussion during this election, so it’s great to see the Yukon Chamber of Commerce taking the lead and presenting an objective, impartial and balanced view of the issue in its luncheon “Pros and Cons of Carbon Pricing” on Nov. 3, just a few days before the territorial election.

Local geological engineer and builder Forest Pearson, will be discussing the pros of carbon pricing. It’s great that we have a local resource who can provide his analysis and experience. So, who will be presenting the cons of carbon pricing?

Not Mr. Pasloski. Earlier this month, he said his party didn’t do any analysis on the impacts of carbon pricing in Yukon. Not Currie Dixon. He’s been quoted in the past as saying “numbers don’t matter.” How about one of our local economists? Nope. A local researcher on the topic? Wrong again.

The Yukon Chamber of Commerce had to go outside Yukon to find someone to present the cons of carbon pricing. Enter Paige MacPherson, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a multi-million dollar, not-for-profit organization with a federal office in Ottawa plus six regional offices — none of which are located in the north.

Since the CTF is presenting the cons of carbon tax from a Canadian perspective, perhaps the chamber should consider bringing in an expert from Outside to present the pros of a carbon tax from a national perspective. How about the economists from any of the country’s largest banks? The banks have all signed onto the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) — a group that brings together leaders from government, business, and civil society to support the introduction of carbon pricing and accelerate the use of carbon pricing around the world.

Or how about the President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Perrin Beatty? The Yukon chamber should know all about this group since it has a director sitting on their board. The Canadian chamber “supports evidence-based policymaking that appropriately accounts for environmental externalities as well as efforts by the government of Canada to cooperate with provinces and territories to address environmental issues that are of shared jurisdiction… and favour a price on carbon.” Or how about someone from B.C., Quebec, or Alberta — jurisdictions that have already implemented carbon pricing? The list of possibilities is long.

So much for an objective, impartial and balanced view of the issue. Come on, Yukon Chamber of Commerce — I thought you were supposed to be apolitical. This David-versus-Goliath setup stinks of partisan politics to me. You still have time to fix this situation. Find someone local to present the cons of carbon pricing while Mr. Pearson presents the pros in a made-in-Yukon event.

Eldon Organ, Whitehorse

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