A B.C. ambulance paramedic is seen outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says local governments across Canada are facing significant financial pressures due to COVID-19.
He says Vancouver is bleeding money and the city expects to see a 50 per cent reduction in non-city property tax revenues between March and May, which equates to losses of $4 million to $5 million per week.
Stewart is calling on the B.C. government to expand it's provincial property tax deferment program to include all residents, businesses and non-profit agencies to help bridge the gap.
He's also asking the province for an emergency grant of up to $200 million so Vancouver can maintain essential services and pay for programs that support vulnerable residents throughout the pandemic.