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Paying tribute to Grey Cup champ Bombers a priority: Bowman

Winnipeggers flocked downtown to celebrate the Blue Bombers first Grey Cup win in decades with a Tuesday afternoon parade but the full cost of that celebration won’t be revealed for a while.

Mayor Brian Bowman declined to estimate the total tab for the event that started at Portage Avenue and Hargrave Street at noon Tuesday. The city’s costs could include tabs for added security and re-routing traffic.

“The costs will be calculated in due course … I know we’re being very judicious in the related costs. But let’s keep in mind we haven’t had any costs for 29 years for a Grey Cup celebration,” said Bowman.

The mayor said the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will pay for events at The Forks, the parade’s final destination.

Bowman said financing discussions with the province are also underway.

In the midst of a city budget crunch that has led departments to propose drastic service cuts, including everything from closing down libraries and pools to cutting staff positions and Winnipeg Transit routes, the mayor said the parade should still be a priority.

“This is an opportunity for us to celebrate together as a community right now and pay tribute to the Winnipeg Football Club for delivering the Grey Cup. I think there would be equal criticism, if not louder criticism, had we not worked collaboratively with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to pay tribute to the team,” said Bowman.

The mayor said his civic initiatives fund is meant to pay for community building events, such as the parade. He also said the parade’s final tab should be lower than the price of a Winnipeg Jets Whiteout street party.

Twitter: @pursagawpgsun