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Ganja governance a concern for Manitoba cities

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

Pictured (l-r) Portage city councillors Ryan Espey, Liz Driedger, Melissa Draycott and Wayne Wall join outgoing Caucus chair Rick Chrest, incoming Caucus chair Dennis Fenske along with Portage Mayor Irvine Ferris during this week’s AMM Convention in Brandon, Man. (Supplied)

Pictured (l-r) Portage city councillors Ryan Espey, Liz Driedger, Melissa Draycott and Wayne Wall join outgoing Caucus chair Rick Chrest, incoming Caucus chair Dennis Fenske along with Portage Mayor Irvine Ferris during this week’s AMM Convention in Brandon, Man. (Supplied)

When the calendar turns next summer welcoming the month of July, Canadians of legal age across the country will, by law, have the right to consume cannabis. Yet there is a growing concern across Manitoba that the funds aren’t available to adequately police marijuana usage.

Members of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) Cities Caucus – made up of representatives from Brandon, Dauphin, Flin Flon, Morden, Selkirk, Steinbach, Thompson, Winkler, Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie – met at the annual AMM Convention taking place this week in Brandon and discussed how communities around the province plan on introducing the herb.

“With the legalization of cannabis, there are costs that go along with it,” says Portage la Prairie Mayor, Irvine Ferris. “We will have to spend more on enforcement. I’ve heard similar concerns (from other city representatives). (There needs to be an) increase in enforcement, however there is no funding for that.”

The simple solution is to recoup that via the taxation of the substance, except the proposed tax split is 50/50 between the feds and the province.

“We don’t feel that tax payers in the city should be picking up the bill for this,” adds the Mayor.
 



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