March 14, 2018 6:38 pm

Mayor Fougere talks pot revenue and train overpass funding with Prime Minister

Mayor Michael Fougere and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meet in Regina.

Derek Putz/Global News

Before touring the Evraz steel mill in Regina, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a stop at city hall for a one-on-one meeting with Mayor Michael Fougere.

In that meeting, Fougere stressed the need for municipal revenue sharing to cover the cost of legal cannabis enforcement. The Regina Police Service (RPS) estimate it will cost them at least $1.2 million.

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READ MORE: Saskatchewan sets minimum cannabis use age at 19, rolls out framework

During February’s city executive council meeting, Chief Evan Bray said much of this cost is associated with purchasing roadside testing equipment once available and for training.

Roadside testing equipment is believed to cost $25,000 – $50,000. Currently, Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training costs $15,000 per officer. Bray wants to add 30 officers, a $450,000 bill.

When it comes to specifics on marijuana revenue sharing, Fougere still has more questions than answers.

“We have no idea on that at all, and that’s part of the conversation with the province. The mechanics of that tax comes from the province so we’ll have that conversation with the premier and minister of government relations,” Fougere said.

READ MORE: City to complete feasibility study on possible overpass at Ring Road railway crossing

In their half-hour discussion, the mayor and prime minister covered a variety of topics from funding for homelessness and Housing First, funding for transit, the Regina Bypass and a potential rail overpass on Regina’s Ring Road.

“The overpass/underpass situation on Ring Road is crucial for us too. For the frustration of drivers who see this all the time, trains coming at the worst possible time. And that frustration is there,” Fougere said.

“[Trudeau] understands that and he knows we’ll be applying for funding, and he’s certainly prepared to look for that and that’s a positive.”

Fougere announced the city will perform a feasibility study of an overpass or underpass at the Ring Road rail intersection between the McDonald Street and Winnipeg Street interchanges during his State of the City Address last month.

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