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Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi announces utility bill deferrals in light of COVID-19

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi gives a COVID-19 update
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi joins Global News Morning Calgary live via Skype with details on the city’s latest updates about COVID-19 and affected city services and facilities.

The City of Calgary is hoping to help Calgarians by deferring their utility bill payments in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic and its impacts.

Speaking on Global News Morning Calgary on Thursday, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city would be making the announcement later in the day.

“Yesterday, we had the province announced that those who are unable to pay their gas and electric bills for the next three months can defer those bills,” Nenshi explained. “This morning… the city will be announcing the same for your water, your wastewater, your sewer, your waste and recycling bills.

“You will have the option to not pay those bills for three months with no penalties, no interest — and we will just pro-rate those amounts into the last six bills of the year.”

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Nenshi acknowledged that Calgarians are dealing with a lot right now.

“We’ve had a triple whammy here: we’re getting the public health crisis from the virus its self, we’re getting the recession that is coming along with the public health crisis and we’re getting Saudi Arabia and Russia having an oil price war — all at the same time,” he said.

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“It’s very clear that Calgary is going to be hit harder than anywhere else in Canada.”

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Nenshi said the announcement is aimed at helping citizens, but assistance for local businesses will be next.

READ MORE: Calgary small businesses welcome federal funding amid COVID-19 outbreak

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“Right now, we’re focused on helping individuals. You’re going to hear a lot more in the next day or two about how we can support businesses through this to make sure that those who had to close will be [able to] reopen their doors and hire their staff when the time comes.”

Nenshi added that there’s “no need to panic,” saying Calgarians are living in the “best place in the world you could live.”

READ MORE: Calgary Transit to start asking people to board buses at rear door due to COVID-19

“The grocery stores will stay open. The shelves are being restocked. There’s no reason to stockpile. There is every reason to look after each other,” Nenshi said.

“We’ve been in crisis before here, we know what to do. And ultimately, what we do is we look after one another.”

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Nenshi made the official announcement during an intergovernmental affairs committee meeting on Thursday.

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