Government needs to get moving on municipal ice storm assistance – Speech
December 10, 2014 – Ice Storm Relief
Ontario Hansard – 10-December2014
Mr. Ted Arnott: Last year’s Christmas ice storm was an event that we will not soon forget. Our riding of Wellington–Halton Hills was among the hardest-hit areas. In the aftermath of the storm, the provincial government quickly committed to providing assistance to municipalities to help cover cleanup costs.
On February 18, I spoke in this House and urged the government to work with our municipal partners to ensure that they were properly compensated for legitimate ice storm costs. I also wrote directly to the previous minister several times in support of our local municipalities.
However, almost a year has now passed, and they are growing increasingly frustrated with a process that seems to keep changing on them and is much more complex and complicated than it perhaps needs to be.
The town of Halton Hills originally submitted a claim for $1.8 million. The government then changed the guidelines on them, and they’re now working toward a new unofficial deadline of` year’s end. The township of Puslinch had to compile 330 pages to support their claim of $45,000. The township of Centre Wellington is working hard to complete a $302,000 claim. The township of Guelph/Eramosa is also working to finish their submission before the deadline.
The Grand River Conservation Authority needs $550,000, Conservation Halton is requesting $129,000 and I found out today that the Hamilton Conservation Authority is also planning to submit a claim.
I trust our local partners, and I am confident that they would submit verifiable claims or I wouldn’t be standing in this House now and raising this issue. They should listen to my colleague the member for Oxford. Let’s work together and get this done.