Manitoba’s newest pot shop feels they should be exempt from new provincial fee – Winnipeg

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Winnipeg is now up to 10 stores selling recreational cannabis.

The newest store, Meta Cannabis Supply Co., located 420 Madison St., is on the site of Winnipeg’s first urban reserve, Long Plain First Nation. They could be challenging a new tax set to take effect in the new year.


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Right now, Aboriginal People with treaty status can buy items such as tobacco products and gas exempt from provincial sales tax on the Long Plain First Nation.

But with a new product — like cannabis — the chief says the province’s new tax, the social responsibility fee, should not apply to this location.

“To me, it’s a bit of a mistake the province is making, and it most likely will be challenged.” Said Long Plain First Nation Chief Dennis Meeches.

“They’ve introduced a regulatory fee that will take effect in January, that may be challenged… probably will be challenged.”

The chief says any court challenge would be fronted by the Indigenous governments because that’s an infringement on their treaty rights.


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According to the Manitoba government, all cannabis retailers have entered into agreements with Manitoba containing an obligation to pay a social responsibility fee.

Their take is First Nations are no different than any other retailer.

The province didn’t say what sort of penalty Long Plain First Nation could face, Or if they would withhold product until this is sorted out.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Ontario to exempt Sikh motorcyclists from helmet law

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Sikhs who wear turbans will be allowed to ride motorcycles in Ontario without helmets starting Oct. 18.

Premier Doug Ford said Wednesday his Progressive Conservatives are changing regulations under the Highway Traffic Act to fulfil an election promise on a helmet exemption, which the previous Liberal government refused to do for safety reasons despite years of lobbying from the Canadian Sikh Association.

Members of the Sikh Motorcycle Club are reflected in a fellow member's sunglasses during the annual Vaisakhi parade in Vancouver on April 16, 2016. Ontario will allow turban-wearing Sikhs to ride motorcycles without helmets starting Oct. 18, Premier Doug Ford announced Wednesday.
Members of the Sikh Motorcycle Club are reflected in a fellow member’s sunglasses during the annual Vaisakhi parade in Vancouver on April 16, 2016. Ontario will allow turban-wearing Sikhs to ride motorcycles without helmets starting Oct. 18, Premier Doug Ford announced Wednesday.  (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO)

“The safety of our roads will always remain a priority,” Ford said in a statement. “But our government also believes that individuals have personal accountability and responsibility with respect to their own well-being.”

Ford’s announcement follows last week’s introduction of a private members’ bill in the Legislature to amend the Highway Traffic Act by Brampton South MPP Prabmeet Sarkaria, the parliamentary assistant to Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Michael Tibollo.

“The wearing of the turban is an essential part of the Sikh faith and identity,” Sarkaria said.

Turbans do not fit under most helmets.

British Columbia, Manitoba and Alberta already have helmet exemptions for Sikh motorcyclists, as does the United Kingdom.

Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robferguson1

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