Swan River, Man., may slap extra tax on alcohol to help pay for police

Associated Press

WINNIPEG - A community in northwestern Manitoba is considering a surtax on alcohol to help pay for policing.

Swan River town council will consider a bylaw Nov. 20 that would impose a three per cent municipal tax on booze sold within town limits.

Jason Delaurier (de-LOW'-ree-ay), the councillor behind the idea, says the money could help pay for the town's growing costs for RCMP service.

Delaurier says many of the crimes and traffic violations the RCMP investigate are linked to alcohol use, and many people he has talked to like the idea.

The tax would require approval from the Manitoba government — something which is far from guaranteed.

Premier Greg Selinger has not seen the proposal, but says a similar tax in Thompson was rejected in 2008 because the province wants alcohol rates to be uniform across Manitoba.

Selinger says alcohol profits benefit all Manitobans by paying for provincial government programs.

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