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Yukon opposition parties agree there’s an ‘energy crisis’ but not who started it

Minister says expect to pay to charge electric vehicles at government-run stations by end of 2024
Minister John Streicker addresses reporters in the Yukon government media room on April 8. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

Yukon Party Leader Kate White agreed with what Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon told reporters on April 10: There’s an “energy crisis” in the territory under the current governing Yukon Liberal Party.

“That’s, like, scary language,” White said.

According to White, that crisis started under the former Yukon Party government.

White noted people could be incentivized to change some of their habits, for example, by running the laundry machine or plugging in electric vehicles, also known as EVs, when the grid has the least amount of usage — like at night.

Dixon questioned if the Liberals have cost out the impact of implementing charging stations and carrying out the government’s electric vehicle plans — and whether the system can handle it all.

“We have a dependable capacity gap of 35 megawatts that’s currently being filled by almost two dozen rented diesel generators,” he said.

“On the one hand, our supply is short. We don’t have enough juice on the system to meet our needs. On the other hand, we are dramatically increasing the demand through things like the implementation of EV charging stations and the use of electric vehicles, and something’s gotta give.”

A vehicle powers up at a charging station located in the parking lot outside the Yukon legislative building on March 25. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

Dixon was asked to respond to the minister’s criticism that the Official Opposition is fixated on rented diesel generators, which make up one per cent of annual energy consumption.

“The backup diesel generators are a relatively small percentage of that, but they are absolutely critical. They are the things that keep the lights on when the sun isn’t shining, when the wind isn’t blowing and when it’s minus 40 below outside,” he said.

“The question is: How do we provide that backup power? How do we ensure that our grid is sustainable and can offer the power that we need when we need it?

“And as it stands right now, we’re relying on close to two dozen rented diesel generators to do that, and there’s no other plan for any other new sources of energy right now.”

Dixon argued the Yukon needs to build its own backup generation capacity.

Earlier that afternoon in the legislative assembly, Energy, Mines and Resources Minister John Streicker told the house the Yukon Party wants to build another liquefied natural gas, often referred to as LNG, plant.

Streicker responded to questions about the government’s commitment to getting 4,800 electric vehicles on the road. He also took queries about the government’s commitment to the Atlin hydro expansion project after leaving money for the project out of the 2024-25 budget and five-year capital plan.

He said the government remains committed to the Atlin project, despite a funding gap that has yet to be closed.

Streicker said electric vehicle users should be charged financially at the 19 government-run charging stations for charging up their electric vehicles.

Following the question period, Streicker confirmed electric vehicle users can expect to pay to power up at stations across the territory by the end of the year.

Contact Dana Hatherly at

Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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