Premier John Horgan speaks to reporters outside the B.C. legislature, Oct. 4, 2017 (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

John Horgan blasts Ottawa’s marijuana tax grab

B.C. premier confident lumber talks not forgotten

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he expected his first ministers’ meeting in Ottawa to deal with moving marijuana sales away from an “untested, unregulated and unsafe product” to a safe model, not to argue about Ottawa’s surprise proposal to impose a national excise tax on it.

“We were surprised to learn that the federal government also believes, not only do we need to control and regulate the distribution of marijuana, but they see it as an opportunity to raise revenue, and that was a shock to everyone around the table,” Horgan said Wednesday.

Recreational marijuana sales are to be legalized July 1, 2018, and federal officials chose the conference in Ottawa this week to reveal a proposed 10 per cent excise tax on marijuana sales. The revenue would be split 50-50 with the provinces where it is sold.

“We made it abundantly clear that the costs to provinces and local governments seem to be rising, and we didn’t see a role for the federal government in terms of taking revenues away from providing services to people,” Horgan said.

In language unusually strong for federal-provincial relations, Horgan said the task is “to make sure that kids don’t get access to marijuana, to make sure that the distribution system is safe and fair, and that the regulation of the product, which will be done largely at the provincial level, largely at provincial cost, should not be an opportunity for the federal government to collect revenue.”

The meeting also dealt with trade talks, both on renewing the North American Free Trade Agreement and the softwood lumber discussions that are particularly vital to B.C.’s trade with the U.S.

Horgan said he is satisfied that B.C. trade representative David Emerson and federal negotiators are proceeding with both, despite attention being diverted by U.S. President Donald Trump’s provocative statements on trade with Mexico dominating headlines.

Just Posted

Search continues near Ashcroft for missing Prince George woman

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

U-Save property owner files six lawsuits against District of Hope

One of the lawsuits demands $6,200 to undo the work done on the roundhouse.

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

Husband pleads guilty in relation to 2009 killing of Kulwinder Gill

Abbotsford woman died in hit-and-run conspiracy

Raymond Lee Caissie gets life in prison for murdering Surrey teen in 2014

Judge numbers Caissie among ‘violent merciless men without a conscience’

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

5 to start your day

A South Surrey shooting, Team B.C. wins the 2017 WHL Cup and more

Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

A ‘wardrobe malfunction’ with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy during his last appearance

A scary box office weekend for everyone but Tyler Perry

‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ scared up a healthy $21.7 million in its first weekend in theatres

Even as long-form census data returns, Statcan readies for day without it

Wednesday’s release is expected to show immigrants making up a larger share of the population

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Most Read