Colwood joins chorus calling for province to split pot revenues

Municipalities want fair and equitable split of revenues

The City of Colwood is calling on the provincial government to help fund some of the costs associated with the upcoming legalization of marijuana.

In a letter submitted to the province, the City expressed concern about the “downloading of responsibilities and costs associated with the legalization of non-medical cannabis,” and costs related to training, staff and the effect on RCMP services for local residents.

“We weren’t hearing anything about those extra costs that may be passed along to communities. If there’s licensing that has to be done, if we’re going to be responsible for inspections,” Mayor Carol Hamilton said.

“There could be policing costs to be incurred, not only for training purposes to be able to manage and deal with this. We’re looking for assurances that these kinds of things are being looked at when they make the rules.”

Colwood was one of many municipalities across B.C., including Kelowna and Terrace, that sent letters to the province recently, asking for 50 per cent of the provincial share of the cannabis tax sharing formula be provided to local governments.

RELATED: Ottawa willing to give more pot tax revenue to provinces to help cities

Late last year, the federal and provincial governments struck a deal in which Ottawa committed to a 75-25 split (the province would get most of the revenue) of tax revenues from cannabis sales, which equates to one dollar per gram, or 10 per cent of the producer price, whichever is greater.

Once the deal has been finalized, it will be the province’s responsibility to determine how the revenue will be split.

“The federal and provincial governments intend to keep cannabis taxes low to support the objective of reducing illicit market activity. As such, it is expected that cannabis taxation revenues will not generate significant provincial revenues,” said Finance Minister Carole James in a response letter to the City dated March 12.

“We will be able to have more informed discussions once full details of the regulatory and taxation regimes are known and governments have more certainty in terms of expected future costs and revenues.”

Locally, Hamilton hopes the costs of regulating marijuana doesn’t fall solely on the municipality’s shoulders.

“We reiterate the fact that municipalities aren’t always the best suited to handle the extra costs as they arise, so consideration should be given for that to happen at a higher level,” she said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Two Oak Bay officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

UPDATE: Recycling truck destroyed by fire in Victoria

Emterra truck sitting on McLure Street in residential neighbourhood, driver safe

Victoria Shamrocks acquire NLL and MSL all-star

Rob Hellyer brings offensive power to the Shamrocks

VicPD cuts school liaison program over budget impasse with Esquimalt

Six officers, including three school liaisons, to be reassigned to frontline duties

Vancouver Island is home to some of the ‘rattiest’ cities in B.C.

Three municipalities in Greater Victoria, and three more around the Island have gnawed their way into the top 20

VIDEO: B.C. man recognized for spinning basketball on toothbrush

Abbotsford man holds world record for longest duration of time of 60.5 seconds

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Sights of Saanich bring smiles to Japanese delegation

A small leap highlighted the short but potentially historic visit of a… Continue reading

Arrests made after truck crashes into unmarked police cars in Nanaimo

Two men facing numerous charges after allegedly fleeing scene on the mid-island

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

Most Read