Municipalities welcome steps toward fair cannabis revenue sharing (11/12/2017)
FCM President Jenny Gerbasi issued this statement following the federal government's announcement that it will release an additional 25 per cent of federal excise tax revenues on cannabis to help support municipal on the front lines of legalizing cannabis nationwide.
"Federal leadership to legalize cannabis across Canada includes ensuring municipalities have the right tools to keep Canadians safe and well-served. Today's announcement that the federal government will release more cannabis excise tax revenues to support our cities and communities is a step in the right direction.
"Local governments are on the front lines of implementing, administering and enforcing new cannabis rules, with new cost burdens for our police and up to 17 municipal departments. Last week, FCM released early estimates of those costs of keeping people safe and well-served. Based on that work, we recommended reserving one-third of federal cannabis excise tax revenues as a fair and achievable tool to support municipalities.
"Today's federal announcement starts a dialogue among all orders of government toward clearly securing that fair municipal share. Clearly, this tool will need to be supplemented to cover local start-up and ongoing costs, especially if revenues grow more slowly than expected. What the potential of this tool offers is crucial planning stability — for local governments, and for federal and provincial governments that share responsibility for ensuring unsustainable new burdens do not fall to local governments.
"As with so many other national challenges, this one requires a strong partnership among all orders of government. We see that partnership growing stronger on infrastructure and on affordable housing. Cannabis legalization is a fresh opportunity to build a strong, goal-driven partnership that integrates durable 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