Town eyeing wish list for SUMA convention

By Angela Brown
January 8, 2019 - 5:00pm

Administrators with the Town of Battleford aim to lobby for a cut of the cannabis sales revenue when municipalities descend on the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) convention next month.

Mayor Ames Leslie said he hopes to put several government ministers in the hot seat to get some answers on the issue. The event is scheduled from Feb. 3 to 6 in Saskatoon.

"With the recent federal announcement of $43 million in profits from cannabis (sales) year-to-date, hopefully the group at SUMA and my fellow mayors take the government to task to say: Where's our share?" Leslie said. "I'm not saying we're trying to be greedy, but there was a lot of work done by the municipalities for bylaws, laws and policing."

About $43 million was raised across Canada from licensed cannabis retailers in the two-week period after legalization, according to Statistics Canada.

Leslie said that is a significant amount of money that's going into the federal and provincial pockets right now. Leslie added the town simply wants to know what the municipalities will receive.

A separate issue Leslie plans to bring up are the costs associated with repairs to aging infrastructure. 

"We are always looking for money for wastewater, streets and roads," Leslie said. 

He also wants to touch base with the Saskatchewan Minister of Highways and Infrastructure to see if there is an opportunity to partner on a joint venture to cover the cost of repairing the old bridges leading to Finlayson Island.  

"That's something council will have to face in the next year to 18 months," Leslie added. "Maybe the government is willing to help in some monetary amount to help us preserve those bridges, or at least keep them to a viable state for the next 10 years." 


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