This Hansard has not been finalized - this is the "Blues" in Parliamentary speak, or unedited transcript in regular speak.

In the Legislative Assembly on February 9th, 2024. See this topic in context.

Question 46-20(1): Government of the Northwest Territories Carbon Taxation
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart

Kieron Testart Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Northerners keep getting told that our system of carbon pricing is more flexible than the federal model, but it seems to me that the only flexibility we have is to copy what they're doing in Ottawa when the dictates of Parliament come down to us. So can the Minister of Finance tell me, is the GNWT simply mirroring changes made to the federal backstop with our own carbon pricing regime? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 46-20(1): Government of the Northwest Territories Carbon Taxation
Oral Questions

February 9th, 2024

The Speaker

The Speaker Shane Thompson

Thank you, Member from Range Lake. Minister of Finance.

Question 46-20(1): Government of the Northwest Territories Carbon Taxation
Oral Questions

Caroline Wawzonek

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We are limited in our flexibility in terms of what fuels are taxed and in terms of the tax rates on those fuels. And so to that extent, when the federal government has opted to exempt a particular type of heating fuel, yes, we did mirror what they did as that is the limited flexibility that we have. Thank you.

Question 46-20(1): Government of the Northwest Territories Carbon Taxation
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart

Kieron Testart Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Further to that, Yukon and Nunavut maintain their own rebate systems, including rebates to mines, yet they use the federal backstop for tax collection. Why can't we do the same in the Northwest Territories? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 46-20(1): Government of the Northwest Territories Carbon Taxation
Oral Questions

Caroline Wawzonek

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Yukon and Nunavut are under, long before we did, many, many years ago created their systems with the federal system. At this point, we would come in under the federal system much like Alberta and Manitoba and others did when the last round of changes came through. So, and I wouldn't -- I mean, I can certainly provide a more detailed comparison between the Yukon system and ours and between Nunavut's system and ours. There's differences in terms of the rebates that go to individuals. There's differences in the rebates that go to businesses, including differences in the ways that there's rebates that go into large emitters and large systems. So the systems are quite significantly different, in my view, and I don't know that -- again, I don't know that I can do it briefly on the floor of the House, but I don't know that we necessarily want to put ourselves under that system at this point. The system we have was designed for the Northwest Territories' large emitters, and that's where we want to stay. Thank you.

Question 46-20(1): Government of the Northwest Territories Carbon Taxation
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart

Kieron Testart Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, BC's carbon tax is revenue neutral with all revenues going to rebates for clean energy programs or rebates to individuals. Why is our carbon tax generating net revenue instead of being revenue neutral? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 46-20(1): Government of the Northwest Territories Carbon Taxation
Oral Questions

Caroline Wawzonek

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, all of the revenue that comes in, there is -- what's left after the rebates to residents and businesses and then to the community governments, what's left at that point does not cover the full amount of programs and services that the government has, for example Arctic Energy Alliance, EV vehicle rebates, bike rebates, the carbon climate change efforts by ECC, and certainly does not cover the costs of infrastructure projects that we have underway to bring about cleaner energy. So, for example, the Inuvik wind project, studies that are on the transmission line into Whati that we were just speaking about to bring hydro, those projects far outweigh -- exceed whatever net revenue is left over after the rebates. Thank you.

Question 46-20(1): Government of the Northwest Territories Carbon Taxation
Oral Questions

The Speaker

The Speaker Shane Thompson

Thank you, Minister of Finance. Final supplementary. Oral questions. Member from Yellowknife Centre.