The Yukon Party is arguing for home heating fuel to be exempted from the carbon tax.
The Opposition wants the Yukon government to push the federal government on the issue.
During question period on Oct. 31, Wade Istchenko, MLA for Kluane, prefaced his question by mentioning Yukoners are worried about the cost of heating their homes this winter.
In the September 2022 fuel price survey put out by the Yukon Bureau of Statistics, residential fuel prices have gone up in all Yukon communities since September 2021.
In Whitehorse, which saw the smallest difference, there was a 43 per cent jump in the price of furnace oil, up to 194.6 cents per litre. Ross River saw the highest increase at 53 per cent, up to 226.5 cents per litre.
“A significant chunk of that increase is due to the carbon tax,” Istchenko said.
The federal fuel charge rate for heating is 13.41 cents per litre, as of April 2022.
The Yukon Party ran on exempting home heating from the carbon tax as a campaign pledge.
In response, John Streicker, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, said all the money collected via the carbon price is rebated to Yukoners. He noted measures the government has taken to address inflation and thanked Yukon Party MLAs for voting in favour of the carbon price rebate.
Last week, Ken McDonald, the Liberal MP for Avalon in Newfoundland and Labrador, voted in support of a federal Conservative motion for a home heating fuel exemption from the carbon tax. He was the lone Liberal in Parliament to do so.
Istchenko referred to a September letter he said the Liberal government in Newfoundland and Labrador wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking the feds to stop the carbon tax on home heating fuel from going up.
Yukon Premier Sandy Silver said the rebate is revenue neutral in the Yukon.
“We are returning 100 per cent of the federal carbon levy to four rebate groups, and actually, we are remaining committed to ensuring that, thankfully with the help from the Official Opposition in supporting carbon pricing,” he said.
“We continue to give more than what is paid out.”
Silver said the Yukon Party can’t have it both ways.
“Are they going to support polluter pay, or are they going to continue to support all of the taxpayers paying for pollution?” Silver asked rhetorically.
When asked by Yukon Party MLA for Watson Lake Patti McLeod if the territorial government will push the federal government to remove the GST from home heating fuel, Silver urged the official opposition to reach out to the federal government, which is responsible for the federal tax.
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