REGINA -- Michael Fougere says he plans to push city council to freeze property taxes in 2021 should he be re-elected as mayor.

Speaking at a campaign event on Tuesday, Fougere said he would urge city council to use the city’s reserve funds to help pay for the freeze.

“While people in other major Canadian cities will likely face large property tax increases in 2021, Regina will take a stand and use reserve funds to keep life affordable for residents and businesses,” he said in a news release.

In order to freeze property taxes, Fougere would need a majority of city councillors to approve that plan.

During his event, he urged people running for city council to support the property tax freeze.

Fougere said he voted against the 2020 budget, which saw city council approve tax increases that year.

“We face new challenges because of COVID-19 and we need steady, experienced leadership to support Regina people, families and businesses,” he said.

Regina is expected to face a difficult financial situation when budget talks begin after the election.

If taxes are frozen, the city could use reserve funds to balance the budget, but it may also have to reduce services if reserve funds run short.

The city has also received $16.3 million from the federal government to help with costs associated with COVID-19.

As well, Fougere said he plans to attract new businesses to Regina, especially ones in the agri-food industry.

He also plans to outline initiatives that address safety, mental health and caring for the vulnerable.