Time to do the Electric Boogie.
The government announced on March 22 that Yukoners will receive $50 off their electricity bills for the next three months, totalling a rebate of $150.
The rebate will be applied automatically to all residential and commercial ATCO Electric Yukon and Yukon Energy electricity bills in the coming months, beginning around eight weeks or approximately mid-May.
In the legislature on March 22, John Streicker said the rebate is meant to temporarily help with the costs of inflation. He is the minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation.
“This is to help Yukoners because we know that there are prices rising. We know that the war in Ukraine has pushed the price of fuel up and also the price of food. This is us responding to that situation,” he said.
The rebate is expected to cost the government around $3 million and was not included in the budget estimates introduced last month. Yukon Party opposition was quick to point that out in the house.
“Will the Premier admit that his last-minute effort to copy Alberta is further proof that his budget is already stale-dated and out of touch with the challenges facing Yukoners with the rising cost of living?” asked MLA Brad Cathers during question period.
He accused the government of “making up policy on the fly” with the latest rebate. Earlier in the sitting, Cathers had called on the government to scrap the gas tax, a measure taken in Alberta. The party has also suggested pausing a tax on carbon and insurance rates.
But Minister Ranj Pillai responded by noting that a “large majority of people” could benefit from the electricity rebate, regardless of whether or not they drive vehicles and are being hit hard by the price of fuel. The gas tax in the Yukon is currently six cents per litre.
“Now with this rebate that we are giving out to people — $50 per month — think about how many times you would have to fill up your gas tank to equal that type of support with the Yukon Party-led response,” said Streicker.
Contact Haley Ritchie at firstname.lastname@example.org