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In the most recent fiscal year, the B.C. government received $14 million in federal excise tax revenue. For the 2020-21 fiscal year, it expects to receive $50 million in revenue from the federal excise tax, and $40 million from a 15-per-cent markup on the landed cost of cannabis.
“It has now been almost two years since non-medical cannabis was legalized,” Tait said. “Two years of a legal framework that has provided millions in taxation revenue to federal and provincial orders of government. Two years of B.C. local governments receiving none of that revenue.”
A number of other special resolutions were endorsed at the convention:
• In response to concerns that arose during the 2018 municipal election, a resolution was endorsed asking the province to amend legislation to provide greater oversight for elector groups and financial contributions made in non-election years, better tracking of third-party ads and generally greater transparency around election finance reporting.
“UBCM supports the principles of fairness, accountability and transparency in the local elections process,” said past-president and Kamloops Coun. Arjun Singh.
• Transit agencies have been hit hard by COVID-19, and delegates voted to have the province, TransLink, B.C. Transit, UBCM and local governments work together on a provincial transit recovery strategy to deal with the financial hit and a rebuilding strategy for the transit and transportation sector to strengthen funding models. Coquitlam Coun. Craig Hodge, who is on the UBCM executive, said the idea is to ensure that public transit remains stable and viable in future.