Raise the royalty rates

Raise the royalty rates The Yukon and federal governments have announced there will be a change in the agreement for sharing resource revenues. Currently, any amount of resource royalties the Yukon earns in excess of $6 million is deducted out of our tra

The Yukon and federal governments have announced there will be a change in the agreement for sharing resource revenues.

Currently, any amount of resource royalties the Yukon earns in excess of $6 million is deducted out of our transfer payments from the federal government.

Under the new agreement, the Yukon could receive more than $40 million in royalties before any money gets deducted from our federal transfer payments.

Well, $40 million is a lot more than $6 million, so let’s all go roll in the dough.

But there is one small problem.

The Yukon hasn’t even been collecting the $6 million, never mind anything above that.

Looking forward, it appears extremely unlikely that the Yukon will ever generate $40 million in royalties thanks to incredibly low royalty rates on mineral resources.

For the budget year 2011/2012 the Yukon expects to get $115,000 in oil and gas royalties and related revenue.

Mineral resources are expected to generate about $1,235,000 in permits, fees, leases and royalties. Of that, less than $20,000 is actually mining royalties, because of the outrageously low royalty charged on placer gold (37.5 cents an ounce, irrespective of the current price of gold).

There are no hard rock royalties paid to the Yukon government, and thanks to a hard rock royalty system that allows companies to write off almost all their expenses it is very doubtful whether the Yukon will see substantial hard rock royalties in the near future.

Chuck in other sources of revenue generation, such as land sales, forest fees and agricultural leases and it looks like the total raised through resource revenue will come in at $1,803,000.

Not even close to $6 million.

And 20 times less than the new cap of $40 million.

If the Yukon does not change its mineral royalties we will not benefit from the new transfer agreement at all. If the Yukon is serious about taking advantage of the new transfer agreement it has to get serious about royalties.

It’s time to apply a respectable royalty on the minerals that belong to all Yukoners. At the moment we are literally giving them away to the mining companies.

Lewis Rifkind, mining co-ordinator

Yukon Conservation Society

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A competitor takes a jump in front of a crowd at the Mount Sima Up Hill Challenge in Whitehorse on April 17. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Spring shred: Snowmobiles gather on Mount Sima for 2021 Uphill Challenge

Riders had a sunny and warm day on the hill, but still plenty of snowpack on the uphill course.

Sheila MacLean tosses her winter blues in the fire to be burned away in Whitehorse on March 24, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Burning permits will be revoked April 25

The Whitehorse Fire Department extended the open burning season

Maura Forrest/Yukon News File photos from Beaver Creek White River First Nation
Bessie Chassé elected as new chief of White River First Nation

“I was happy that the membership saw that I was ready for this position.”

X
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 21, 2021.… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Yukon MP Larry Bagnell speaks at an announcement in Whitehorse on July 8, 2019.
Federal budget includes changes to Northern Residents Deduction, minimum wage, green energy funds

The massive budget included some rare references to the territory.

Doug Bell photographed in Whitehorse in 2008, for an article about his role as Yukon Commissioner in the early 1980’s. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon remembers former commissioner Doug Bell

Bell passed away in Whitehorse on Sunday, at the age of 94.

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Most Read