Ontario municipalities look to province to cover cleanup bill after ice storm | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Ontario municipalities look to province to cover cleanup bill after ice storm

Peel Region employee Dwayne Berrigan cuts limbs from iced trees in Brampton, December 23, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/J.P. Moczulski
January 09, 2014 - 7:58 AM

TORONTO - Southern Ontario municipalities hammered by the pre-Christmas ice storm must formally apply for provincial assistance before they can find out if they are eligible for emergency relief.

Ice-laden trees and branches crashed onto power lines after the storm, knocking out electricity to more than 600,000 homes and businesses, many for several days.

A city staff report recommends 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.

But the storm impacted dozens of other communities as well, and reports say the total bill from all the affected municipalities could top $250 million.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion wants all towns and cities hit by the storm to approach the province together to seek disaster relief funding.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs says it won't determine if communities are eligible for Ontario's Disaster Relief Assistance Program until it gets formal requests for help.

The ministry says it needs a financial assessment of the damage from each municipality before it can determine if they qualify for help and the amount of money they would get.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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