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WATCH: Provincial Government to pay for ice storm cleanup

32 municipalities will share in $190 million dollars in relief money.

The Ontario government will provide up to $190 million to help municipalities pay for the cost of cleanup and recovery from the pre-Christmas ice storm.

Municipal Affairs Minister Linda Jeffrey says the money will be divided up among the 32 towns and cities that requested financial help from the province, including Toronto.

Hard-hit municipalities across southern Ontario had said the recovery efforts could cost more than $250 million, including $106 million just for Toronto.

The storm downed trees and hydro lines, left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power for days and stalled road and air travel.

Mayors had asked the federal and Ontario governments to each cover a third of the cleanup costs from the storm, which left people shivering in the cold and dark for days until power was restored.

The municipal leaders said property taxes alone could not fund the recovery and gave the province until March 1st to respond.

While opposition at Queen's Park welcome the relief funding, both the NDP and Tories want some sort of system in place to outline how funding is given out in future bouts of severe weather.

NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns says the government has been negligent in preparing for extreme weather, noting this funding doesn't help that.

Tabuns, a Toronto MPP, adds he believes this funding shortchanges the city.

Tabuns is looking for a plan so municipalities don't have to ask questions about relief down the line.

PC energy critic Lisa MacLeod suggests putting together an all-party committee to determine how to deal with things in the future.

Lisa MacLeod it's critical Ontario learns how to respond as a province, not because of any political motivation.

Toronto's Deputy Mayor says City Hall will receive all of the financial assistance it asked for in the wake of the storm.

"This is not just good news, this is great news.  I'm delighted to hear it," says Norm Kelly.

City Manager Joe Pennachetti says he expects to receive about $86.5 million from the provincial government.

That includes money that has already been spent on clean-up, as well as estimates on work that continues.

Pennachetti says the province will not cover the money it will cost to replace any downed trees the city decides to replace.

Toronto had asked Queen's Park to cover the $65 million cost of last July's flooding, as well as hydro costs but those expenses do not qualify for the funding program.

Pennachetti says city officials will have "ongoing dialogue" with the provincial and Federal governments about relief funding to cover those costs.

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  1. Mark7 posted on 02/26/2014 05:49 PM
    Wynne trying to buy more votes, don't let her fool you. Toss this criminal bitch out next election.
  2. Frankie posted on 02/26/2014 09:13 PM
    They "stole" $ 1 Billion from us and now they want us to feel grateful that they're returning $ 190 Million. The only people that will be grateful are the idiots that keep voting them back in. The rest of us are too smart to be conned by this.
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