Toronto supports GTA Mayors' request for 1/3 of ice storm response and recovery costs from each of province and federal governments

The City of Toronto strongly supports resolutions put forward by the GTA mayors and regional chairs today requesting that the Province of Ontario and Government of Canada each fund one-third of the full cost of response and recovery for affected municipalities from the recent ice storm.

"On behalf of the City of Toronto, I am calling on the Premier of Ontario and the Prime Minister to support Toronto and our neighbours in other GTA municipalities as we struggle to foot the bill for this very damaging and costly storm," said Mayor Rob Ford. "Toronto was hit hard by two extreme storms last year that cost the City $171 million. Toronto residents cannot shoulder this huge burden on their own."

"A one-third cost-sharing partnership from each level of government would be a fair solution to address the response and recovery costs from these storms," said Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly (Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt). "Toronto experienced significant costs for our emergency response and devastating damage to our tree canopy as a result of the ice storm, which will take many months and years of cleanup and recovery."

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor attended the meeting of GTA Mayors and Chairs today in Mississauga to discuss funding assistance from the provincial and federal governments. Toronto's $106 million in response and recovery costs for the ice storm make up 40 per cent of the total GTA costs of $275 million.

The group passed resolutions calling on the provincial and federal governments to share equally with municipalities by each funding one-third of the full cost of response and recovery from the ice storm for affected municipalities.

The mayors and regional chairs also passed a second resolution calling for the provincial and federal governments to establish new programs and expand existing programs to address disaster mitigation involving forestry, erosion control, winter storms, tree canopy and other severe storm events that reflect the reality of climate change. It also asks for such programs to include funding for rehabilitation of municipal infrastructure to mitigate future environmental and storm event impacts.

In addition, the group called on the provincial and federal governments to recognize the urgency of this matter and to provide a response by March 1.

The resolutions are available at http://bitly.com/KnMkus.

The City staff report, "Impacts from the December 2013 Extreme Winter Storm Event on the City of Toronto," and the motions passed by Council at its special meeting on January 10 and 13 are available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2014.CC46.1

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