With about three weeks to go before marijuana sales become legal, Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield is still worried.
"There are a lot of issues, and a lot of unknown issues," he said, following yesterday's council meeting. "The cost to municipalities is probably going to far outweigh what the benefit is, in terms of tax revenue."
The mayor even went so far as to threaten legal action, if the added costs weren't picked up by the federal government.
"We did not implement this. Whether you agree or disagree, it doesn't make any difference. It's here now," the mayor noted. "The cost is going to be borne by the local taxpayer, and that's just simply wrong. That's going to have to be picked up by the federal government."
In Ontario, the legal sale of cannabis can start October 17. After this date, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario says local ratepayers may have to pay for added costs associated with enforcement, emergency services and public health.
If the province's excise duty revenues exceed $100 million in the first two years, the revenue will be shared 50/50. There are 444 municipalities in Ontario.
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