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Wolastoqey chief predicts ‘chaotic’ expiry to tax agreements – CBC

Jan 09, 2023

Madawaska band drafting its own tax laws for ‘way cheaper’ tobacco, cannabis

The Higgs government and a Wolastoqey community are hurtling toward a potential showdown at the end of the month when their retail tax agreement is set to expire.

The end of the agreement means “a complete and utter cut-off of revenue sharing with the province” and the possible creation of new reserve-based tax laws that could create turmoil, says Madawaska Maliseet First Nation Chief Patricia Bernard.

She said her band is now drafting its own tax and licensing laws that she says will lead to “way cheaper” tobacco and cannabis — and potentially gasoline — at on-reserve businesses.

Bernard said it’s the result of Premier Blaine Higgs’s decision to cancel First Nations tax-sharing agreements in April 2021.

“They weren’t thinking about the consequences,” Bernard said.

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