Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Municipalities Look to Province to Cover Cleanup Bill after Ice Storm

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Municipalities Look to Province to Cover Cleanup Bill after Ice Storm

Article excerpt

Municipalities seek cash for ice storm

--

TORONTO - Ontario's opposition parties urged the Liberal government Thursday to quickly provide disaster relief money to communities hammered by the pre-Christmas ice storm that knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and small businesses.

Branches, and in some case entire trees, weighed down by ice crashed down onto power lines after the storm, leaving hundreds of thousands across southern Ontario shivering in the dark for days during the holiday period.

"We do have disaster relief programs in place now and the province has recognized for decades that municipalities, when they're hard hit by a disaster, deserve support," said NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns.

"Frankly we should take those criteria, apply them to the (municipal) requests, and share the wealth and the pain around the province when people get hit hard."

There's definitely a role for the province to assist municipalities ravaged by the ice storm and power outages, said Progressive Conservative Michael Harris.

"I think those smaller municipalities will definitely need those resources to be able to assist in the cleanup efforts," said Harris, "but I think we know the extent of the magnitude in Toronto is fairly severe, so there will be more of a need there as well."

A city staff report recommended Toronto council ask the province to declare the city a "disaster area" to qualify for help to cover an estimated $106 million in costs from the ice storm. The report also noted the costs to the city of a severe rainstorm on July 8 that flooded parts of Toronto were estimated at $65.2 million.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs said Toronto is not eligible for disaster relief for the July floods, but the province would take the cost of the flood damage into account when assessing the city's request for help with the cost of the ice storm cleanup.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Thursday he would move a motion asking the province for an initial $60 million in disaster relief aid.

"We're going to have to ask for a lot more than $60 million," said Ford.

The storm impacted dozens of other communities, from Hamilton and the Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph areas in the west to Wellington in eastern Ontario, and reports say the total bill from all the affected municipalities could top $250 million. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.