LISTEN: City Council Unanimous on Provincial Funding

Councillors vote in favour of asking the province for financial relief following December ice storm.

Monday morning, Toronto city councillors picked up where they left off on Friday, resuming their special meeting to debate whether to seek provincial funding from the ice storm that coated the city on December 22nd.

Within the first hour of the meeting, councillors voted unanimously in favour of putting in a request to the province for financial aid for $114-million for the clean-up.  That $114-million represents the provincial and federal portion of the $171-million tab for both December's ice storm and the July 8th, 2013 storm that left many without power and homes flooded.

City councillors also voted to declare Toronto a disaster area in order to apply for money under the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Fund.

Council also voted for a review of how the city responded that will seek input from a third party.

Councillors voted to include a number of different aspects in the review, including the possibility of burying hydro lines, the creation of a vulnerable persons registry, and improvements to communications.

The review is expected to come back before councillors in the second quarter of 2014.

Toronto's request must first go to the provincial government which decides if disaster assistance is warranted and how much it can reasonably pay, said Jean Paul Duval, spokesman for Public Safety Canada.

The province could then go to the federal government to seek funding under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements if eligible expenditures exceed $1 per person, based on provincial population.

Eligible expenses include restoring public works and infrastructure to their pre-disaster condition, as well as replacing or repairing basic, essential personal property of individuals, small businesses and farms.

Ontario refused to help Toronto with costs related to the rain storm that swamped parts of the city.

But the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has said it 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.

The ministry said it won't determine if communities are eligible for Ontario's Disaster Relief Assistance Program until it gets formal requests for help.

The storm impacted dozens of other communities in Ontario and officials have said the total bill from all the affected municipalities could top $250 million.

At least four Ontario municipal councils Brampton, Mississauga, Caledon, and North Perth have already voted on motions asking for their municipalities to be declared as disaster areas.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion is calling a meeting of GTA mayors on Friday to collectively ask the province for financial assistance.

It's unclear if Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly will attend the meeting or not he said it's "yet to be determined" whether or not he will be there.

Rob Ford's office says the Mayor has been informed by McCallion that the meeting will not include deputy mayors.

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  • 17
  1. Frankie posted on 01/13/2014 08:07 AM
    Toronto council is so dysfunctional that they couldn't even handle this issue without their usual level of incompetence and endless discussion.
    1. tanjo posted on 01/13/2014 11:52 AM
      @Frankie It's silly season (i.e. Election Year). Everyone has to get their sound bites in.
    2. tanjo posted on 01/14/2014 04:44 PM
      @tanjo I do believe Dougie quoted me last night!
  2. karen27 posted on 01/13/2014 11:19 AM
    City hall was rebuffed when it tried to get disaster cash over last year's flood as Toronto wasn't even i the ballpark of suffering damage. Ditto for the ice storm. No chance.

    Isn't it time we doubled salaries and halved council to get some knowledgable folk in to run the city?
    1. SG posted on 01/13/2014 04:37 PM
      @karen27 All for cutting council in half. All for term limits too.

      Every time politicians give themselves a raise they use that old chestnut: to justify it: we have to pay a lot to get the brightest and the best. John Tory used that one when he agreed with McGuinty to raise MPPs' salaries by 25% in 2006. Name me one politician at any level of government who is "the brightest and the best". The brightest and the best are too smart to enter politics for any amount of money.
    2. Frankie posted on 01/14/2014 07:25 AM
      @SG McGuinty as premier was so dumb he should have paid us
  3. Arty posted on 01/13/2014 12:11 PM
    we will not be able to move forward in this city until we rid our selfs once and for all the distraction of the Fords. that's it!!
    1. Angry Bill posted on 01/13/2014 12:40 PM
      @Arty The city was moving forward before Ford got elected? I guess that would depend on your definition of "moving forward".
    2. Karl Burgin posted on 01/13/2014 12:55 PM
      @Arty The city will move forward, once people, just for once stop blaming Ford for everything. Geez! The cosmos existed long before Ford became mayor, it will continue spinning while he is mayor, and it will remain long after he's gone.
      The only reason why people (like yourself) think of Ford as a distraction, is because you can't seem to take your eyes off the shiny personal "melodrama" of the mayor, and actually direct yourself towards things that actually matter.

      Ford is doing his best to do this- and its actually working. You should do the same.
    3. tanjo posted on 01/13/2014 04:14 PM
      @Karl Burgin As an example: Nunziata today announced that unless we get moving, we won't get approval. Ford, earlier in the day, accused other concillors of "grandstanding".

      One got things moving, the other caused a distraction.

      That is what Arty means, I think.
    4. Karl Burgin posted on 01/13/2014 04:33 PM
      @tanjo No...I have a feeling that ARTY really means that the mayor smoked crack, and shouldn't be mayor right now.

      As for your interpretation, I can kind of understand where you're coming from, but that sort of behavior isn't limited to the Fords- everyone does it. The "swear word" uttered to Doug (I forgot her name who said it) is the most recent example I can think of.

      But on the other hand, I can also understand the mayor's point in this as well. The "grandstanding" aspect is nothing but a delay tactic- to what end, you got me. But as most from the media who have covered council sessions in that snake pit, pretty much anything goes.
      But back to my point, I can see the mayor trying to get this hurried along, because the cities (including Mississauga, Brampton) need this- and this is not the time to be dragging one's feet.

      Sometimes, yeah I can see where you can make a point to the fact that Ford may come across as immature. But again, I've seen how the others act in that council. At the end of the day, Mr. Ford isn't 100% guilty of being the only distraction.
  4. Ernie posted on 01/13/2014 03:22 PM
    Other people in the province should not always be responsible for Toronto's issues.

    Toronto has among the lowest property taxes in the province yet they want everyone else to pay their way.

    Wynne had better say no or else shes just buying votes...Again!
    1. Frankie posted on 01/13/2014 04:17 PM
      @Ernie One reason taxes are lower in Toronto is the greater density for the services, ie. more taxpayers per service. Suburbs particularly are more spread out so the services cost more per resident.
    2. SG posted on 01/13/2014 04:58 PM
      @Ernie The people living and working in Toronto also send a whopping amount of income tax, sales tax, etc. to Queen's Park and Ottawa. Why can't we get some of it back when extraordinary events occur?

      Don't worry, Wynne will keep trying to buy votes regardless. That's the Liberal way.
  5. Frankie posted on 01/13/2014 04:41 PM
    Just heard Stintz' nonsense against Ford, claiming he was trying to make the storm "emergency" issue political, despite Ford's having gotten city employees to advise it wasn't needed, also claiming he wasn't in her neighbourhood.

    If anyone was trying to make this political, it was her. She must think us really stupid to fall for her nonsense. She's two-faced and completely untrustworthy.

    Ford demonstrated his best skills during the ice storm and Stintz has further demonstrated her incapability to lead this city.

    I'm counting on her to dilute the disaster of the decade, Olivia Chow! Olivia should remain a federal MP so she can vie for leader at the next leadership campaign.

    Then she can compete with Justin Trudeau for the top spot neither of them are capable of.
    1. SG posted on 01/13/2014 05:05 PM
      @Frankie You're bang on about Stintz.. Hopefully she'll be gone come the fall.

      Ford did exactly what Mayor Nenshi did during the Calgary floods, nothing more, nothing less and yet Nenshi was praised to the skies for being visible throughout the crisis. Such a wonderful mayor, almost godlike according to the Twitterverse at the time.
  6. Karl Burgin posted on 01/14/2014 09:23 AM
    @FRANKIE and SG......well said.

    I don't think Stintz is going to gain much traction at the end of it all. She has to know where to pick her battles. And going after the mayor for doing his due diligence during the ice-storm was not one of them. Frankly, she sounded like a high-pitched air raid siren, without the off switch. Why did she not ask the other mayor, why he decided it was a good time to go visit the sunshine state- especially since Ford didn't give Kelly the go ahead to call an emergency. Speaking of which, here's a question that has been bugging me- how the heck did Norm Kelly get to Florida? And back within an 18-hour period? I remembered that Pearson was having issues, and many were cancelled.

    That performance just shows she has no mayor-potential, and I question why she is a council, or involved with the TTC. I know she changes her mind on things every second Tuesday, and frankly is unable to commit to anything. Hey, she and Horwath has something in common....
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