Kinew Commits to Sharing Cannabis Revenue with Municipalities

November 27, 2018

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew committed to an equal partnership with municipalities at AMM’s annual convention today.

Kinew’s government would share one-third of a federal excise tax on cannabis with municipalities in order to promote economic growth across Manitoba. Kinew’s promise follows the Premier’s decision to refuse to share revenues from both the federal excise tax and the provincial Social Responsibility Fee with municipalities.

“The Premier’s claim there is not enough cannabis revenue to go around is simply not true,” said Kinew. “Manitoba stands to make millions from the legalization of cannabis and municipalities deserve to share in the benefits. Our NDP team is committed to strong partnership with municipalities that is founded on trust and optimism.”

The Premier has insisted there are no additional costs for municipalities related to the legalization of cannabis, however the Federation of Canadian Municipalities find communities are facing up to $4.75 million per 500,000 residents in new costs. Without a share in provincial revenues, municipalities will be forced to hike property taxes and fees for families to cover the shortfall.

The Pallister government has cut municipal funding in the last two years and has failed to live up to its promise of a “fair share, fair say” for municipalities. The Premier has frozen municipal operating funding for two years and has cut the Roads and Bridges Program by eighty-four per cent. Last year the Pallister government reneged on an agreement to cover half of the cost of public transit, forcing municipalities to increase fees for families and cut services.

“The Premier is calling for ‘all hands on deck’ to balance the budget while he downloads costs onto municipalities. He’s more interested in picking fights with municipal leaders than working to make life more affordable for rural, urban and northern families,” said Kinew. “Real partnership is the ability to listen to communities and work together to find solutions. I am committed to building a strong partnership with municipalities for the benefit of all Manitobans.”