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Calgary to lose $400 million without financial help: Nenshi

Last Updated Apr 16, 2020 at 7:33 am MDT

Mayor Naheed Nenshi provides an update on COVID-19 in Calgary, Apr. 9, 2020. (PHOTO: CityNews)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Several Canadian cities including Calgary are running into major financial problems due to COVID-19.

The city says it is losing between $10 million and $15 million in revenue a week.

That number could climb to $400 million over the next six months.

RELATED: Cities across Canada grapple with shortfalls in the hundreds of millions due to COVID-19 crisis

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the province is already in a very difficult situation and hopes the federal government will step up and lend a hand.

“Ultimately cities are not able to run deficits. We only have two sources of income which are property taxes and user fees and it’s going to be critical that the provincial and/or federal government allows for financial backstop here.”

Even if Calgary was allowed to run a deficit, Nenshi said it’s not a good idea.

“Running a big deficit this year would mean higher property taxes next year. Ultimately, the federal and provincial governments have a lot to do and I’m not being critical.”

He added the federal government, right now, is able to borrow money at near zero-per-cent interest and that many cities will have to turn to the feds to help supplement their municipal operating budgets.