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

Kimberley RCMP warn of phone scam

Caller is pretending to be a police officer

Ecosystem restoration burn planned for Premier Lake area

A prescribed ecosystem restoration burn is being planned for 12 hectares in… Continue reading

Two new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region is at 533

Local kayakers and canoers paddle Kootenay for World Rivers Day

SUBMITTED World Rivers Day — a day to appreciate and clean up… Continue reading

Aquatic Centre to remain closed

City Council decides to keep pool closed until guidelines make it feasible to reopen safely

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Most Read