Wynne Promises to Decide Ice Storm Financial Aid This Week

Emerging from a 45-minute meeting with Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly on Monday, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne promised that Greater Toronto municipalities will be informed of how much financial help they will be granted from Queen’s Park as compensation for ice storm damage this week. She mentioned that “we will be bringing forward our response before March 1, which means this week.”

Almost 20 GTA mayors and regional chairs have made a combined request to seek $250 million in provincial funding in lieu of repairs caused by the Christmas ice storm, consisting of $106 million for Toronto alone. Consequently, the province decided to appeal Ottawa for federal assistance. Upon inquiry from Premier about why she was not meeting Toronto’s mayor, she replied that “I am working with the representative of the city of Toronto who has the responsibility for decision-making as per decisions by council.” Furthermore, she elucidated that “I have worked with all the representatives who have been elected in their various jurisdictions. I will continue to do that.”

On the other hand, Mr. Kelly alleged that “the premier and I share a deep affection for the city of Toronto and an enthusiasm to grow the city. There’s remarkable potential here in the city that has to either be unlocked or channelled. I think in these two meetings we’ve planted seeds that will . . . prove productive — you’ll see green sprouts in the very near future.” The deputy mayor added that “I’m delighted the premier has been so co-operative and so focused on these deliberations.”

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