Winnipeg mayor to speak about call for federal help during COVID-19 Thursday afternoon

Winnipeg’s mayor will speak to media Thursday after joining a group of big city mayors calling for billions of dollars in help from the federal government during COVID-19.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities says cities will need between $10 billion and $15 billion over the next six months to pay for services while they see revenues decline.

Brian Bowman is scheduled to discuss the request at a 3 p.m. press conference.

Global News will stream the event live from this story.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, who chairs the federation’s big city mayors’ caucus, told The Canadian Press communities face “non-recoverable financial losses” and need the money to keep essential municipal services running.

The City of Winnipeg has declared a state of emergency and has deferred property and business taxes during the novel coronavirus, a move expected to cost an estimated $5.2 million in revenue.

A city report this week estimated the city could lose $12 million a month during the pandemic.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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