Jan 10, 2014
By Andy Johnson
Toronto City Councillors will be advised by city staff today to consider asking the provincial government to declare the city a disaster area following last month’s ice storm. The recommendation, in a city staff report, says the ice storm will cost the city at least $106 million in damage to forestry infrastructure and other related expenses. The city was already facing a bill of more than $65 million for damage caused by a rain storm in July that inundated parts of Toronto. Mayor Rob Ford says he is working with other GTA mayors including Mississauga’s Hazel McCallion to appeal for provincial funding and wants the city to ask the minister of municipal affairs and housing to declare Toronto a “disaster area” under the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program. Council is also asking that Queen’s Park and Ottawa establish or expand disaster mitigation programs involving urban forestry, erosion control, winter storms, tree canopy, and other severe storm events.