Cannabis revenue-sharing key to municipalities keeping Canadians safe and well-served (06/12/2017)
Federation of Canadian Municipalities President Jenny Gerbasi issued this statement ahead of next weekend's meeting of federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers.
"Local governments are on the front lines of implementing the federal commitment to legalize cannabis across Canada. Our communities are where cannabis will be sold and consumed, and our priority is to keep Canadians safe and well-served, on Day 1 and long-term.
"Legalization means significant new enforcement and operational costs for municipalities-for our local police and up to 17 different municipal departments. It makes sense to use cannabis excise tax revenues to ensure these costs don't become a barrier to keeping Canadians safe. And a smart revenue model will recognize that three orders of government are in this together.
"The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is working with members across Canada to forecast the real cost impacts, and tomorrow we bring this work to the Ministry of Finance's consultation on revenue sharing models. We're proposing a model that allocates one third of cannabis excise tax revenues to local governments. We believe that's fair and achievable, and it will go a long way to making local costs sustainable. And we appreciate the federal government's openness to factoring municipal needs into this vital conversation."
"The federal government will need additional means to support local costs-all the more so if cannabis excise revenues grow more slowly than hoped-but revenue-sharing can be a central part of this toolbox. At the end of the day, this is about building a federal-provincial-municipal partnership on behalf of all Canadians, and we have an opportunity to get this one right by building in the right financial tools from the start."
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of municipal government, with nearly 2,000 members representing 90 per cent of the Canadian population.
For more information, please contact:
FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, firstname.lastname@example.org