It took less than five minutes to decide we wanted to become a disaster – so much for being # 1 mid-size city in Canada.

By Pepper Parr


January 14, 2014

It took city council less than five minutes to decide they wanted to be seen as a disaster area.  There was the possibility of some provincial funding coming to the city and for a couple of thousand dollars – maybe more – the city seemed prepared to take a pass on being the best mid-sized city in the country and become as disaster area along with the rest of Halton.

The provincial government set a ridiculously short deadline to get forms in stating that the Region wanted in on the province’s Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP).

Does this quality as a disaster and will it get the city some provincial relief money?

In order to apply for the assistance the municipality must adopt a resolution requesting that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing declare a disaster area within 14 working days of the onset of the disaster. If two or more municipalities have been affected by the same natural disaster and wish to access the public component of ODRAP, the council of each municipality affected by the event must adopt a council resolution requesting a declaration of a disaster area. The Minister may declare one disaster area to cover all the affected municipalities. The Region will be the lead on this with all four municipalities being part of the request.

Burlington did a quickie, stopped what they were doing as a Standing Committee and met as a Council to pass the motion the Region needed to send on to the province. 

The storm produced freezing rain, ice pellets and wind resulting in wide-spread power outages due to downed power lines from fallen trees and tree limbs. The area of north Burlington was particularly hard hit.  Approximately 7,500 Burlington Hydro customers were impacted by outages.

The provincial legislation allows for disaster relief for both the public and private sectors which the city thought it would get in on – but a closer look at the fine print and the city decided to take care of themselves and let private people look to their insurance companies for financial relief.

The application for Disaster Relief funds will be for the city only. 

As of January 8, 2014, expenses incurred are approximately $1.1 million. That number got boosted to $1.6 million by the 145th. The clean-up and repairs could take months to complete and debris clean-up is expected to extend into the Spring.

One wonders if the cheque from the province will have arrived by then.  There is talk of a provincial election in May – and there is nothing as nice money coming in from the province to make us all feel warm and fuzzy and decide that perhaps the government isn’t that bad after all.

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2 comments to It took less than five minutes to decide we wanted to become a disaster – so much for being # 1 mid-size city in Canada.

  • Reginald Dementoro

    The pier is more of a disaster candidate, but, the province has no money after it burned $1B on the gas plant cancellation.

    Government is never “isn’t that bad after all”; we have too much government.

    This government is a disaster.

    • marie

      Yes, the pier is a financial disaster!!!!!and who was in charge of that…government…another disaster!