Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday December 12, 2017
Liberals reach deal with the provinces on sharing pot tax revenue
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has reached a deal with his provincial and territorial counterparts on a formula for sharing pot tax revenue.
The agreement gives the provinces at least 70 cents on the dollar, a sizable increase from the 50-50 framework proposal Morneau had announced last month.
Heading into today’s meeting with Morneau in Ottawa, provincial ministers had insisted on a greater share, arguing the provinces and municipalities would shoulder the majority of costs for police enforcement, health care and education programs once marijuana becomes legal in July.
A formal statement confirming the agreement is expected soon.
Asked about the deal this afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeated that the objective is to restrict access to young people and to remove profits from criminals.
“That means getting the balance right in terms of both pricing and the ability to properly monitor it in our communities,” he said.
Before the deal was reached, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said some provinces felt uneasy about the uncertainty of how the pot legalization program will roll out.
“Some provinces get annoyed that we didn’t ask for this, didn’t provide for this, you’re imposing upon the provinces and we have no flexibility,” he said. “So the federal government has to come up with some of that flexibility to provide some support to the provinces and municipalities that are being affected.” (Source: CBC News)