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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is again asking the territorial Liberals to abandon their ineffective policies and help Yukoners with the cost of living.
The most recent data released by Statistics Canada revealed that for the seventh month in a row, the Liberals’ weak attempts to address increasing costs have dealt Yukoners the highest inflation rate in the country. Nationally, inflation started to decline in response to skyrocketing interest rates, Statistics Canada reported a 4.8 per cent increase for Whitehorse in June, a full 2 points more than the national average.
“Yukoners are being forced to make tough decisions when it comes to budgeting for their households, and continue to be hit harder in their wallets than elsewhere in the country,” said Kluane MLA Wade Istchenko. “The Yukon Party has continued to push for real action on the costs that impact Yukoners and Yukon businesses the most – carbon taxes.”
The Yukon Party continues to oppose the federal carbon tax and to push the territorial government to work with the other territories to at least seek an exemption on home heating fuel. The recent Council of the Federation showed that they would be willing partners, as Northwest Territories Premier Caroline Cochrane noted that carbon pricing is starting to feel like federal punishment for residents of Canada's North. To date the territorial Liberals have refused and Yukon’s Premier was silent on carbon taxes in the media following the meeting of Canada’s Premiers.
The Yukon Party Official Opposition also urged partnering with the Atlantic premiers and Saskatchewan’s premier to oppose the federal government’s new Clean Fuel Standard for rural and northern jurisdictions. The independent Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) says the new standard ‘will increase the price of gasoline and diesel in 2030—the year in which the (Clean Fuel Regulations) reach full stringency—by up to 17 cents per litre and 16 cents per litre, respectively.’ A PBO report also notes that the tax will disproportionately impact rural jurisdictions and lower income households.
According to Statistics Canada, the 4.8 per cent Whitehorse rate for June is over 1 point higher than Yellowknife and Iqaluit.