Province to pony up some real coin to pay for that power outage; citizens get a chance to hug a hydro worker.

By Pepper Parr

February 26, 2014


We’re in the money,
We’re in the money;
We’ve got a lot of what it takes to get along!
The bean counters at city hall are just singing the praises of the provincial government with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announcement today that the province will help affected municipalities, including Burlington, recover some of the costs of the December 2013 ice storm.

“I’m pleased that the provincial government has responded to the GTHA Mayors request for assistance to deal with ice storm recovery and costs,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “The ice storm was a catastrophic event for municipalities and we are still cleaning up.”

The city, like other municipalities, will wait for the details of the one-time Ice Storm Assistance Program to understand what costs will be covered. Burlington has asked for help in recovering $1.8 million in short-term costs related to the ice storm.

City Manager Jeff Fielding points out that the province is looking at reimbursing affected municipalities up to $190 million in eligible costs.   “This gives the city hope in recovering some or all of our unexpected expenses.”

The December 2013 ice storm caused widespread damage and blackouts across southern, western and eastern Ontario. At the peak of the ice storm, more than 800,000 hydro customers were without power.

It was brutal for those living north of Dundas. And it cost the city well over $1 million to get things back to where they were.

In Burlington, 7,500 homes were without power for various lengths of time beginning Dec. 21. Power was restored quickly to the urban areas of the city, but in the rural area, north of Dundas Street, 1,000 homes remained without power on Dec. 22, with power being restored to pockets of homes until Dec. 27. The city activated its emergency operations centre, responded with warming stations and continuously communicated updates to residents to help ensure their safety.

“City of Burlington staff, including firefighters, went beyond the call of duty to help residents in Burlington return their lives to normal during icy conditions and power outages,” said Scott Stewart, general manager of Development and Infrastructure.

Burlington is going to “share the love” for the hydro workers, the EMS people and the fire fighters that spent a large portion of their Christmas day out trimming limbs from trees and re-stringing hydro lines.  A public event to “hug the troops” will take place  Tuesday, March 4, 2014–6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Kilbride Public School, 6611 Panton St., Gymnasium.  There will be speeches.

Background links

Hydro crews close to restoring all power.

City polishes its tin cup – asks the province for a handout.

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