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Mayor Nenshi welcomes province's new economic stimulus package

Last Updated Jul 28, 2020 at 1:07 pm MDT

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

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Calgary’s mayor said he welcomes the latest stimulus package from the provincial government to help municipalities.

On Tuesday, Premier Jason Kenney announced a $1.1 billion package to help cities and towns affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As COVID-19 has created many economic challenges in our society, this announcement is a great demonstration of partnership between all levels of government and will go a long way to help stimulate the Alberta economy,” said Nenshi.

“This will also create an opportunity to address the infrastructure needs and increased operating costs in our rural municipalities, as well as provide much-needed jobs for our residents.”

Nenshi added Calgary normally doesn’t require this type of stimulus, but it’s necessary to avoid drastically raising taxes or cutting services.

“Nobody wants to see us run a huge deficit and then have to make that up in the following year or years with increases in the unfair, regressive property tax or with massive cuts to services in a time when the economy needs them the most.”

Many Alberta cities have been pressuring governments for financial support for months as they deal with lost revenue due to the economic shutdown brought on by COVID-19.

“I’m really so pleased that this conversation that mayors have been having is a conversation that has resonated with provincial premiers as well as with the federal government. It’s why mayors across the country have sounded the alarm that we need support.”

Nenshi has said that Calgary’s deficit could reach $400 million without government support.