View Full Version : Bill Morneau, provincial finance ministers to start deep dive on pot taxes

06-18-2017, 11:54 AM
Bill Morneau, provincial finance ministers to start deep dive on pot taxes


As the country’s finance ministers meet in Ottawa, the Trudeau government should expect to hear concerns about the added burden marijuana legalization could heap onto provincial shoulders.

The agenda for the two-day, federal-provincial-territorial gathering, which starts Sunday, will include discussions on how best to apply taxes on a regulated market for cannabis.

The federal government introduced legislation in April with a goal of legalizing and regulating the use of recreational marijuana by July 2018.

Pot taxation is expected to stay low to ensure the regulated market elbows out illegal dealers.

Details, however, on how the tax revenues will be shared between provinces and Ottawa have yet to be determined.

The ministers are scheduled to start working on a “co-ordinated approach to the taxation of cannabis,” says a news release from the office of federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who hosts the twice-yearly meetings.

Taxation is poised to emerge as a key focal point of Canada’s pot-legalization process.

Since the federal legislation was tabled, several provinces have voiced concerns about how much work will fall within their jurisdictions – from addiction treatment, to distribution, to policing.

For example, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has warned that provinces will be left with a lot of the “heavy lifting” related to pot legalization, including considerable costs.

In Quebec, Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois has expressed doubts the tax revenue generated by recreational pot will cover the price tag of preparing for regulation, particularly when it comes to health, security and education efforts.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said in an interview he is not apprehensive about cannabis legalization, he just wants to ensure the transition into regulated markets doesn’t impose any extra costs on provinces.

“There’s going to be a lot of requirements on behalf of the provinces,” said Sousa.

“We want to make sure that the proper sharing is there and enough is supported for the implementation of cannabis and the protection (of) our society as we proceed.”
Sousa said he will also be keen to hear how his counterparts are approaching legalization.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott has promised to work with provinces and to commit more resources to cannabis-related needs like public security, policing and educational campaigns.

Philpott’s office has also argued that the current system of prohibition is very expensive and legalization could significantly lower the provinces’ existing costs.

The trick for Canada’s lawmakers will be finding the pricing sweet spot – high enough to cover costs, but cheap enough to squeeze out the illegal market.

The federal government has repeatedly stated its primary goals with legalization are to get weed out of the hands of young Canadians and prevent criminals from profiting from the drug.

In addition to cannabis, the finance ministers will also discuss how to improve information sharing between jurisdictions as a way to address tax avoidance, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.

They will also focus on the Canada-U.S. trade relationship.

For Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao, the discussions on Canada-U.S. trade, including renegotiation of the North American free trade agreement, will be perhaps the most important issue on the agenda.

“I think the objective is to get to a consensus amongst the provinces and the federal government as to what is it that we think that we should be doing, both in terms of the taxation of cannabis and in terms of our relationship with the United States,” Leitao said in an interview.
Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will be on hand to deliver a presentation on the state of the economy.

Sousa said he would also like to hear more about the state of the federal government’s infrastructure plan, including its proposed, $35-billion infrastructure bank.

The bank is designed to use public funds as leverage to attract billions more in private investment for large projects.

Senators have been debating whether to split legislative provisions related to the creation of the bank from the government’s budget implementation bill.

06-18-2017, 11:54 AM
no good will come of this,,

I don't smoke it,, growing and smoking/baking/drinking it should not be illegal in the first place

my only stance would be against selling it,,

06-18-2017, 12:06 PM
In Toronto at least, if the police had been enforcing the pot laws legalization would be a windfall of savings for both the police force and the courts. However, if the worst thing you are doing is carrying a couple of joints (or joints worth) it gets thrown in the gutter and ground up under a boot. If you were getting charged with something else, then they'd keep the pot charge on, just to fill out the list. It's been that way for well over 20 years, which makes me wonder about the people who whine about the pot conviction "ruining their lives", it's either dealer weight, or you've got other convictions to go with it, or you really, really pissed a cop (and a judge and a crown) off.
I'm betting in Ontario the lion's share of the enforcement will fall to the Liquor Control Board and any extra cost will be tacked onto the cost of beer, wine and liquor. And don't forget that the Prime Moron has now tied the tax on those goodies to the rate of inflation, so even if the cost of your booze doesn't go up, and the LCBO doesn't have to raise the price for it's overpaid workers, or to push more money back to the provincial coffers, the price will still be going up each and every year from now on. Yea Tardo!

06-18-2017, 12:35 PM
And of course the various law enforcement agency's guns, drugs, and gangs units will provide for cost savings as they are shrunk, reflecting the fact that they're no longer chasing convictions for causal marijuana use.

Sounds to me as if overall costs will go down, what's the problem?


Rory McCanuck
06-18-2017, 02:35 PM
Hehehe, this is going to be such a shitshow.

06-18-2017, 02:58 PM
Not so Forbes/Hutton.

Police agencies across Canada and the CACP are all saying they need budget INCREASES to deal with Trudeau's "legalization" plan.

Trudeau's plan ISN't legalization. It's basically decriminalization of possessing 30 grams and 4 plants.