The morning after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won the 107th Grey Cup, Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman thanked Calgary for hosting the CFL championship game and festival.
Bowman also presented Calgary’s urban forestry team with a certificate of appreciation for helping his city after a mid-October snowstorm decimated Winnipeg’s iconic tree-lined streets and public tree canopy.
“I want to say thank you to city council,” Bowman said Monday. “I want to say thank you to his worship, Mayor Nenshi, for being one of the first leaders in Canada to reach out to me directly to offer assistance and to see how Calgary could help fellow Canadians in a time of need. And I want to thank, of course, the urban forestry team for coming out to the city of Winnipeg.”
The Winnipeg mayor said the storm could “only (be) described as historic… resulted in a tremendous loss of our tree canopy.”
The Colorado Low that dumped 40 centimetres of sleet and snow on the Manitoba capital also knocked out power to 150,000 homes in the province.
Bowman said the city lost about 10 per cent of the tree canopy from 300,000 foliage-laden public trees.
Calgary faced a similar snow event in Sept. 2014, that saw damage to half of the city’s publicly-owned 500,000 trees.
Bowman sung the praises of Calgary’s urban forestry crews at Calgary city council Monday morning.
“We saw firsthand the professionalism that they bring to the table here in Calgary in the city of Winnipeg,” Bowman said.
“It was mostly difficult work. I know they took in a Jets game, but they did need to rest.”
“But that’s also difficult work,” Nenshi responded, jokingly.
Bowman drew a parallel between Canadians coming together for the CFL’s final game of the season and the spirit in which Calgary’s civic leaders extended assistance to the Manitoba capital.
“What we saw over the last few days while I was here is we saw Canadians from all over the country celebrating what brings us together as Canadians, through sport and through just the act of coming together and celebrating what unites us,” Winnipeg’s mayor said.
“Also, of course, in times of need, we need to look to cities and our neighboring cities and friends from across the country to help us out.”
Bowman also gave kudos to Calgary for hosting the Grey Cup, having seen the planning and work involved when Winnipeg hosted the CFL championship game in 2015.
“I want to commend the City of Calgary for hosting a really outstanding Grey Cup Festival and Grey Cup game.
“As a typical Canadian, I will also apologize for beating your team two weeks ago.”
–with files from Tiffany Lizee and Elisha Dacey