KAWARTHA LAKES-While some cities and many banks and utilities move to defer payments and fee’s The City of Kawartha Lakes posted a notice on their website reminding citizens they can pay their bills online and they face a penalty if the bills are not paid on time. That didn’t go over well with some residents.
Some took to social media to call out the City for being tone deaf to the situation many are facing and for failing to provide relief for those struggling due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Kevin Lubsen posted screen shots of the message on Facebook and wrote “Absolutely disgusting decision. We are in a worldwide crisis and you are worried about getting your tax money on time.”
The post has so far garnered 326 shares and 93 comments. Most of them expressing outrage.
Ken House said ” Wow! COKL….where is your concern for your citizens in this message?
Rhonda Scarlett said “WOW! Nice of them to be so flexible with due dates in this crisis.
Sharon McCart Awde said “Really??? No Flexibility whatsoever.
Others took it with a grain of salt.
Phil Hodgson said “I’m thinking this is just a public notice. I think they were just saying here is how to pay without walking through the door.”
The City of Ottawa is extending the deadline for the first property tax instalment of 2020 and proposing a tax deferral program for residents and small businesses struggling during the pandemic.
The City of Toronto is providing a grace period for tax and other city payments as well as payment penalties for businesses.
Canadian banks, utilities and telecommunications companies are offering relief to customers affected by the spread of coronavirus, waiving fees and providing flexibility on certain payments.
Hydro One set up a Financial Assistance program for customers and said they will not disconnect customers for non-payment, while also extending the Winter Relief program
Bank of Montreal, is encouraging customers directly impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship to reach out to the bank to develop a financial relief program.
Rogers announced that they would offer more flexible payment options and waive certain roaming fees for Canadians who are still travelling.
Rogers, Telus and Bell Canada all said that they are waiving overage fees and lifting data caps on home internet plans as many Canadians begin to work from home and look for entertainment amid social distancing.
There are now two confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the City of Kawartha Lakes, four in Northumberland and two in Peterborough.