Winnipeg taxpayers will be forced to pay for the city’s new costs to legalize and enforce Cannabis laws if the province doesn’t pony up on the cannabis excise tax, says Mayor Brian Bowman.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said he is not going to share the excise tax on cannabis with municipalities and he has signaled that fiscal restraint with municipal transfers will continue.
Pallister spoke to delegates at the annual convention of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities Monday.
He said his priority is addressing the provincial deficit, and the government has to curb spending to avoid the debt growing even more rapidly.
Pallister gave no indication that his government will end a freeze on municipal funding that has been in place for two years.
He also said there is no evidence that cannabis revenues will be greater than provincial costs for extra policing and other related issues.
Association president Chris Goertzen says municipalities are dealing with extra costs of their own and deserve more money from the province.
They held a press conference Tuesday morning to demand the province restore road and bridge funding which was drastically cut last year.
– With files from The Canadian Press
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