NEWS

Ice storm fallout: mayors meet seeking cleanup money

01/17/2014 06:47 EST | Updated 03/19/2014 05:59 EDT
Officials from a handful of Toronto-area municipalities hit hard by December's ice storm will meet today in Mississauga to discuss funding for the cleanup.

More than a dozen municipalities will meet at the invitation of Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion.

Mayor Rob Ford as well as Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly will be attend. Yesterday Ford expressed impatience at getting the province to help pay a share of the cleanup costs.

"I want to get money, I want a direct answer on how much we're going to get," said Ford.

Councils in many municipalities — including Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon — have voted to ask the province that they be declared disaster areas.

The storm affected dozens of communities and officials have said the total bill from the affected municipalities could top $250 million, including $106 million for Toronto alone.

The ice storm downed trees and hydro lines days before Christmas, cutting power to hundreds of thousands for days and stalling road and air travel.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Linda Jeffrey also will attend today's meeting and Premier Kathleen Wynne says Jeffrey's ministry has been in touch with all affected municipalities.

The ministry has already started the process of assessing the requests of municipalities that have contacted it seeking disaster relief.

Yesterday Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow said the federal government is not moving quickly enough on getting aid to the cities affected by the ice storm. However Roxanne James, Parliamentary Secretary to the public safety minister, said a request must first come from the province first before Ottawa can consider federal disaster financial assistance.

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