Jan 17, 2014

By Scott Walker

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Toronto and other GTA municipalities hit by December’s ice storm in Mississauga are meeting to make a united request for compensation from the senior levels of government.

More than a dozen communities have declared disasters in order to apply for provincial and federal compensation. Toronto is asking that Queen’s Park, Ottawa, and the city split the cost of the ice storm and last summer’s floods. The total cost of the two storms is estimated at $171-million.

Mayor Rob Ford and Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly are representing Toronto.

Mississauga’s Hazel McCallion is hosting. She says it’s important that the communities make a united pitch. She says everyone making separate pleas will give the province and the federal government an excuse to delay making a decision.

Meanwhile, Toronto NDP MPs are accusing Ottawa of dragging its heals on helping Toronto recover. Trinity-Spadina MP — and possible Toronto Mayoral candidate — Olivia Chow tells the CBC she thinks the Harper government is playing favourites by helping Calgary last summer, but not Toronto.

The response from the federal government comes from Scarborough Conservative MP Roxanne James. She’s the Parliamentary Assistant to the Public Safety Minister. James points out that Ottawa can’t act until it’s officially asked for money by the province. And Queen’s Park hasn’t done that yet.

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