Jan 03, 2014
By Jane Brown
Longtime Toronto residents remember well when then Mayor Mel Lastman called in the army to deal with a record snowstorm back in 1999. Now, Toronto’s Deputy Mayor says he’s exploring whether to call in the army to help with the lengthy and costly cleanup after last month’s devastating ice storm. Norm Kelly says extra hands could be needed to get rid of fallen trees, branches and other debris for a clean up that’s expected to cost $75-million and take up to eight weeks. Kelly, who was given extra powers when Toronto City Council stripped Mayor Rob Ford of some of his roles, has asked his staff to explore how they’d make a request for soldiers. Any request for troops would technically have to go through the province and then would be relayed to Ottawa.
The ice storm hit on the weekend before Christmas, knocking out power in homes across Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The city of Toronto was the worst hit when 300,000 customers lost power immediately after the storm.