Current Regina Mayor Michael Fougere has announced his re-election bid and plans for a 2021 property tax freeze if re-elected.
The announcement took place on Tuesday morning on Scarth Street between the two Hill Towers. Among those who joined him for the event was longtime friend Murad Al-Katib, president and CEO of AGT Foods, who endorsed Fougere as a mayoral candidate.
#Regina Mayor Michael Fougere has officially announced he is running for re-election this fall. President and CEO of AGT Foods Murad Al-Katib kicks off this morning's event in between the Hill Towers. #YQR #YQRvotes pic.twitter.com/9d9MoHrj9O
— Moises Canales (@MoisesCanalesJr) September 15, 2020
Fougere believes it’s key to support Regina residents and businesses as they face new challenges because of COVID-19. He said significant progress has been made over the last eight years, but he wants to continue building a stronger future for Regina.
“It’s not the time for increases when people’s homes are at risk, businesses are at risk, they are losing their jobs,” stated Fougere. “I will not support any budget increase for the foreseeable future and I am encouraging those running for city council to follow my lead.”
“We have been sidetracked a bit because of COVID-19, but I am very firm in my belief that we have a strong economic base here. We have to make sure we have balance and growth to move us forward for a sound economic recovery.”
The city’s reserve funds would be used to help with the tax freeze. Fougere said now is the time to use those funds during one of the biggest health and economic challenges of our generation.
“I’ve heard so many people tell me it’s difficult to make ends meet. We have reserves and we can use those as a rainy fund to take care of the issues that are important.”
According to Fougere, the city’s reserve funds are “generally healthy” with a capability to move money around between reserves.
The mayor added that he voted against the 2020 city budget which raised property taxes and opposed the 26 per cent salary increase for city council passed in August.
Fougere will be making more announcements over the next four to six weeks involving economic development, growth in the downtown area and issues in the city. There will also be an announcement regarding an aggressive GrowYQR campaign to attract new businesses to the city, especially in the agri-food industry.
Reginans head to the polls on November 9. The other Regina mayoral candidates so far are city councillor Jerry Flegel, Tony Fiacco, Mitchell Howse, Jim Elliott and George Wooldridge.
(With files from Moises Canales)