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

Celebrating 50 years of Rotary in action

The Rotary Club of Ladysmith was formed September 20, 1970

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Paul Manly reacts to Liberal throne speech

Manly says the Liberals need to back up their promises with action

Island Savings closes Ladysmith branch

Ladysmith branch members can be served by the Chemainus branch

New Chemainus development offers prime building lots in a diverse neighbourhood

Beachwood Estates officially opens with interest already high due to its location

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read