Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017
Source: Prince Albert Daily Herald (CN SN)
Copyright: 2017 Prince Albert Daily Herald
Author: Arthur White-Crummey
Page: 2


Mayor Dionne says Prince Albert will face costs from marijuana
legalization, so the city should get its share of the expected tax

Mayor Greg Dionne is joining the chorus of Saskatchewan mayors calling
for marijuana revenue to be shared with municipalities.

"We know the government is doing this to create revenue," Dionne said.
"We believe it's prudent that they share that revenue with us.
Because, at the end of the day, who does the enforcement of the laws
that they make? Our local police and our local people. So we should be
compensated for that."

Charlie Clark of Saskatoon and Michael Fougere of Regina have already
floated similar ideas. The money, Clark is reported as saying, could
come from a direct tax on marijuana sales or another form of revenue

The federal government has indicated it wants to make pot legal by
July of next year. It would be up to provinces to craft a regulatory
system. Depending on the nature of the system, Dionne said, revenue
could flow through Ottawa or Regina. But wherever it goes, the mayor
wants it to come back to Prince Albert.

"I'm even more vocal than Charlie," Dionne said. "He wants to share
the revenue, but I also want them to pay for some of the expenses."

Dionne said legalization could have a significant effect on policing
costs. The Prince Albert Police Service has already sent officers for
training in the US to help them detect drugged drivers, he explained.
In the mayor's view, other levels of government should chip in.

"We want them to pay," he said, "to get certified instructors so we
can train in our province, at the police college."

Dionne said he is currently drafting a letter to federal Public Safety
Minister Ralph Goodale to broach the issue. In past discussions, the
mayor has heard a similar refrain: "he keeps telling me it's a model
that's being shaped."

With marijuana legalization, he suggested, so much is still up in the
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