The province's Tories want the government to investigate its emergency response measures after they claim the Liberals kept opposition MPPs out of the loop after the holiday ice storm.
Progressive Conservative Energy Critic Lisa MacLeod suggests the Wynne government played 'postal politics,' favouring Liberal ridings mainly in the Toronto area.
MacLeod points to what she calls the grocery gift-card "debacle," which say $100 cards being handed out to residents in the Toronto area. She points out residents in Tory ridings in other parts of Southern Ontario lost power for days as well.
NDP Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo says she was not contacted about emergency response post-storm. She says the government should not only have reached out to all MPPs, but other local community organizations which were part of the relief effort.
However, the premier's office says the government provided opposition parties regular updates about emergency response and claims MacLeod didn't respond to emails about the situation.
Both the Tories and NDP are critical of the gift card program, with both opposition parties underlining corporate donations and taxpayer money put towards the cards should have been given to food banks. That way those who were most in need could have benefited from it.
MacLeod says this system was flawed because there was no way for the province to see if those receiving the gift cards to re-stock their fridges actually needed the financial help.
In a written statement, the premier's office says "While not perfect, it was important to make help available to those in need as soon as possible." A spokesperson says more regions will be added to the gift card distribution list, including Dufferin, Durham, Halton, Peel, York and Waterloo regions. Cards will also be given out in Hamilton, Northumberland County and Wellington County.
$450,000 more in gift hards will be given out in most of these regions starting Tuesday. Northumberland's cards will be made available on Wednesday and Durham's on Thursday.