London councillor looks to delay bills, waive interest and penalties amid coronavirus pandemic

The motion is set to be moved by Ward 3 Coun. Mohamed Salih, left, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Jesse Helmer, right, during city council's next meeting. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

A city councillor is looking to provide Londoners with economic relief amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Ward 3 Coun. Mohamed Salih told Global News that his plan centres on an emergent motion he will introduce at city council’s next meeting.

If passed, the motion would waive interest and penalties for unpaid property tax instalments due March 31. Interest and penalties would also be waived on unpaid water and wastewater bills.

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For both sets of payments, interest and penalties would be waived for a minimum of 30 days.

The motion would also see Community Improvement Plan loan repayments on an interest-free basis deferred for a minimum of 30 days, starting March 25.

“This is the first step,” said Salih, adding that he would like for council to have a check-in on the relief program in June. That check-in may see councillors extend the grace period for deferred bills and waived interest and penalties.

“I don’t think that’s something that we could do necessarily forever, but I think it’s something that we could do right now,” he said.

Salih said Deputy Mayor Jesse Helmer will be seconding the motion when council meets on March 24.

Salih’s motion has also garnered the backing of Mayor Ed Holder, who lent his support in a release sent on Wednesday.

“These are unprecedented economic times that we’re living in, and we need to do everything we can to support Londoners,” Salih added.

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