Ice Storm Relief still frozen a Year Later

QUEEN’S PARK –Today in the Ontario Legislature Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Critic for Municipal Affairs, questioned the government’s ice storm assistance program, which has failed to deliver a single dollar to a municipality.

“Minister, winter has started and areas from Buffalo to the East Coast have already been hit with massive storms, but here in Ontario municipalities still haven’t seen a single dollar of assistance for the ice storm that hit them a year ago,” said Hardeman during the question. “It turns out the delay is that your Ministry took nine months just to produce an application – and didn’t give them training on the forms until 11 months after the storm. Is that your idea of emergency assistance?”

Application forms were emailed to municipalities in September but the training required to fill out the forms didn’t occur until webinars on November 18 and November 20.

“It’s almost a year after the ice storm that created havoc and huge expenses for municipalities but due to this government’s mismanagement they haven’t been able to get any of the promised assistance out the door to municipalities,” said Hardeman.

Hardeman also questioned the government’s decision to pay $2,772,257.25 to a private company, Landlink Consulting Ltd., to assist with processing the claims. Landlink became well-known last year after they had numerous problems with the Alberta Flood Relief Program they were hired to administer, resulting in the Alberta government publicly ending the contract.

“You hired an Alberta company to help with the accounting and processing of the 58 municipal claims and yours to the federal government at a cost of almost $2.8 million. So they are getting over $46,000 for each claim they process,” said Hardeman. “Minister, a year later not a single dollar has gone to help municipalities but nearly $3 million went to an Alberta company. Would you call that a great success of a disaster relief program?”

– 30 –

For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
(416) 325-1239