Winnipeg declares state of emergency, waives tax penalties amid coronavirus pandemic

Winnipeg declared a state of local emergency and waived tax penalties for up to three months amid the coronavirus pandemic at an emergency city council vote Friday.

The declaration of a local emergency gives the city sweeping, additional powers meant to prevent the loss of life within the city and protect essential services.

The powers include allowing the city to prohibit movement on city roads and giving it the ability to evacuate people and prohibit their movement from designated areas, according to the province’s emergency measures act.

Read the full list of powers here

Council also waived 2020 business and property tax penalties, which Mayor Brian Bowman has described as a means of easing the financial burden on Winnipeg taxpayers.

The tax measures are detailed in an administrative report prepared by city staff following a motion by Bowman and finance chair Coun. Scott Gillingham on March 20 as part of the 2020-23 budget vote.

The fees on unpaid property taxes due June 30 are waived until Oct. 1, while the fees on unpaid business taxes due May 29 are waived until Sept. 1.

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