Liberal MP Larry Bagnell in Whitehorse on July 25. Bagnell says the new resolution passed by the federal Conservatives to keep 100 per cent of royalties in the Yukon won’t make much of a difference right now. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Federal Conservatives promise the North can keep northern resource royalties

Liberal MP Larry Bagnell says the Conservative resolution wouldn’t make much of a difference today

The federal Conservative party passed a resolution promising to keep 100 per cent of northern resource royalties in the territories.

The resolution came out of the party’s national convention, held in Halifax on Aug. 26. It will be part of the Conservative platform going into the next election, said Jonas Smith, the Yukon representative on the Conservative Party candidates national council.

Right now, Smith said the territories keep resource revenue at differing rates. In the Northwest Territories, the territorial government keeps up to 50 per cent of natural resource revenue, though there is a cap on that.

“In the Yukon, under the agreement with Canada, the resource revenue offset arrangements provide for the first $6 million in global resource revenues having no offset against Yukon’s territorial formula financing (TFF) grant,” said Eric Clement, a spokesperson for the Yukon’s Finance Department.

“For global resource revenues in excess of $6 million, the offset is 100 per cent. That is for every dollar above the $6 million amount, a dollar is deducted from Yukon’s TFF grant.”

Smith said the idea was to simplify things across the North by keeping all of the revenue in the North. This would give the territories the same deal as the provinces, most of which retain 100 per cent of resource revenue (provinces have rights to crown land that the territories do not).

Larry Bagnell, Liberal MP, said this resolution doesn’t currently make much of a difference in the Yukon. Right now, under the current formula, with the revenue coming in from resources, the territory already keeps 100 per cent. This resolution only makes a difference if resource revenue levels go up, which could cause clawbacks to kick in.

“At the moment, it’s sort of academic,” Bagnell said. He said no one in the Yukon has ever lobbied him to change the formula, which was last updated in 2012.

Smith agreed to some degree.

“When you look at Yukon government’s annual budget, ($6 million) is three days worth of operating money.”

However, he pointed to a number of companies and upcoming projects, including Victoria Gold, Keno Hill and additional advanced exploration projects, as promising.

“It wouldn’t take much, if we can get a couple working, to crack that number.”

He said the resolution was passed almost unanimously, and received loud cheers from the roughly 3,000 people in the room.

“One key thing to stress here is this is intended for the territories and the governments to wholly retain 100 per cent of royalties and not have the transfer payments clawed back in any manner,” said Smith. “We didn’t want to give with one hand and take away with the other.”

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon government was wrong in evicting youth from a group home, commissioner finds

The health department has roughly two months to respond to recommendations

Stephanie Dixon ready to dive into new role as chef de mission for 2019 Parapan American Games and 2020 Paralympic Games

“You do it because you believe in yourself and you have people around you that believe in you”

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Whitehorse becomes first community north of 60 to have private pot shop

Triple J’s Canna Space opens its doors to first customers

Whitehorse council news, briefly

Some of the news that came out of Whitehorse city council this week

Snowmobiles and snow bikes descend on Mount Sima for Yukon Yamaha Uphill Challenge

“I think everyone had their eyes opened on what could be done there”

Yukon Orienteering Association starts Coast Mountain Sports Sprint Series off in the right direction

The race on April 11 was the first of five sprint races planned for the spring

Yukon gymnasts stick the landing at inaugural B.C. Junior Olympic Compulsory Championships

Seven Polarettes earned five podium finishes at the two-day event in Langley, B.C.

École Émilie-Tremblay hosts first Yukon elementary school wrestling meet of 2019

“You can grab kids and you can trip and you can do that rough play, but there are rules”

Driving with Jens: Survey says….

If you’re like me, you probably feel inundated with surveys. It seems… Continue reading

Editorial: Promising electoral reform is the easy part

Details of what that would actually look like are much harder to come by

Yukonomist: The centre of the business universe moves 4,000 k.m. northwest

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business named Whitehorse Canada’s top place to start and grow a business

Whitehorse starts getting ready for Japanese students

This summer 13 Japanese students are slated to come north

Most Read