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WHITEHORSE – Recent data from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics (YBS) confirms the territorial Liberal response to rising everyday costs is failing. Life continues to get more unaffordable under the Liberal government.
The YBS announced the December year-over-year Consumer Price Index for Whitehorse was a staggering 8.1 percent – the highest in Canada. Even more concerning from November to December 2022, Whitehorse was the only jurisdiction in the country where CPI rose, while the number in every other jurisdiction fell.
The Yukon Party Official Opposition has been sounding the alarm over rising inflation and the cost of living since the spring of 2022, as well as offering numerous suggestions to help offset the cost of groceries, fuel, and housing. Instead, the out-of-touch Liberals introduced a suite of measures that were too little, too late, especially for seniors and elders on fixed incomes. The Liberals also continue to support tax increases, including an increase to the carbon tax, and charging GST on that tax.
“We continue to hear how Yukoners are being crunched by the rising cost of living,” said Finance Critic Brad Cathers. “The Liberals have been focused on implementing NDP policies such as a rent cap, which both landlords and tenants are telling us is actually hurting the housing market and driving up housing costs. It is concerning the new premier, who says he wants to hear ideas from all sides, is pursuing a new Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA) that will only increase costs.”
Last fall, the Legislative Assembly passed a motion from the Yukon Party Official Opposition to have the carbon tax exempted from home heating fuel. They have also proposed suspending the territorial fuel tax, doubling the Pioneer Utility Grant, and increasing the amount claimed by the Home Owners Grant, as well as pushing to reduce the red tape on fuel wood harvesting, which would then reduce costs to consumers.
In addition to the cost of living, numerous items in the CASA agreement have been tied to CPI, in particular increases to minimum wage. The territorial Liberal government has yet to inform Yukon businesses how much the minimum wage will increase on April 1, 2023, affecting operating costs and potentially further increasing consumer prices.