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Cities will need emergency cash, Mayor warns

In a statement Thursday, Mayor \Fred Eisenberger said Canadian cities are facing a serious cash crunch that cannot be met through property taxation. The statement reads in part, “ Canadian municipalities are seeking the necessary financial support to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 from the provincial and federal governments. Cities have taken unprecedented steps to support the health and safety of our residents.”

“Municipalities, the level of government closest to people, have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in Hamilton we have done so through initiatives such as an emergency homeless shelter in First Ontario Centre, drive-through testing centres in arenas, free HSR fares, educating the public about physical distancing, and property tax deferrals, all the while maintaining vital City services such as water, garbage and recycling collection, and ambulances.”

“At the same time our revenue has plummeted dramatically, with no easy way to replace it except through property taxes at a time when many people are not working.”

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) will be heading to Ottawa to ask for assistance and support from the provincial and federal governments. “As we look ahead, we have also discussed how our municipalities can work together on a united regional economic restart and recovery plan.”

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