Premier John Horgan speaks to delegates at Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, Vancouver, Sept. 27, 2019. This year’s convention will be a virtual affair, broadcast from Victoria Sept. 22-24. (B.C. government)

Pass the cannabis revenue, B.C. communities ask for fourth year

Union of B.C. Municipalities heads into virtual convention

Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have committed to share legal cannabis revenues with local governments, and in their fourth year of asking, B.C. municipalities expect their province to do the same.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities is preparing for its 2020 conference, a virtual event to be broadcast from Victoria Sept. 22-24. Cannabis revenue sharing with local governments is among the executive’s top priorities for the annual get-together with B.C. cabinet ministers.

The resolution notes that Ottawa increased the share of federal excise tax on legal cannabis to the provinces to 75 per cent in recognition of costs to administer and enforce legalized recreational cannabis in 2017. That agreement covers the first $100 million of excise tax revenue, and it expires in December 2020.

The federal excise tax alone was projected to bring $6 million to B.C.’s treasury as of Finance Minister Carole James’ February 2020 budget. The actual revenue received for 2019-20 was $10.7 million, and that was before B.C. received its March payment.

“The B.C. government has disbursed none of the federal excise tax it received to B.C. local governments,” the UBCM executive states. “Notably, the Ontario government allocated $40 millionof its projected $100 million cannabis excise tax revenue to local governments as part of a two-year agreement, with any revenue exceeding $100 million … to be shared 50-50 with Ontario local governments.”

The federal government also collects GST on cannabis sales, while the province charges provincial sales tax and has a 15 per cent markup on its wholesale monopoly run by the Liquor Distribution Branch.

James has repeatedly told the UBCM delegates that B.C. hasn’t produced any net revenue to share, and continues to spend more on administration and enforcement than it brings in.

RELATED: B.C. still losing money on legal cannabis sales

RELATED: No surge in pandemic pot sales, B.C. sales show

Other concerns to be aired at the UBCM convention include the additional costs to local governments from B.C.’s new emergency management legislation, including new mitigation and recovery duties after floods, fires and other natural disasters.

Another executive-endorsed resolution calls for changes to the local election law, to extend regulations on third-party advertising. It calls for the province to require all elector organizations to register, and report contributions to candidates outside election years.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislaturecannabisUBCM

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New trial ordered for man found guilty of the 2010 murder of his wife in Arrow Lakes

Peter Beckett was found guilty murdering his wife 10 years ago

SS Bonnington steam whistle comes home to Nakusp

Shawn Pollard has donated the ship’s steam whistle to the Nakusp Rail Society on behalf his father

Trial of RCMP officer begins in Nelson’s Capitol Theatre

Jason Tait is charged with manslaughter after an incident in 2015

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Kaslo councillor admits to ‘baiting’ member of public in email exchange

Kaslo Village Council to consider adopting code of conduct

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Orange Shirt Day lessons of past in today’s classrooms

Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, is credited for creating the movement

Greens’ Furstenau fires at NDP, Liberals on pandemic recovery, sales tax promise

She also criticized the NDP economic recovery plan, arguing it abandons the tourism industry

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Most Read