As recovery efforts continue in the Ottawa region, the Province is using every program and tool available to assist those in tornado-affected areas. Premier Doug Ford has announced additional funding of $1.568 million to help in the recovery effort has been sent to the Ottawa region. The funding will be used to support non-governmental organizations involved in removing debris from private residences; support tree removal on private and commercial properties, and supplement Public Works and Forestry capacity to remove debris.
“When I visited the impacted communities, I witnessed firsthand the aftermath of the tornado and storm in the Ottawa area,” Premier Doug Ford said. “I am deeply thankful to the first responders, hydro crews, the municipal emergency management staff and officials, and the countless volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help the thousands of people who have lost so much. I will ensure the province uses every tool at its disposal to help the people of Ottawa recover and rebuild.”
Provincial officials are working to support the City of Ottawa’s Recovery Task Force, as well as the city’s Community Support Centres. The province’s Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program, designed to help people affected by natural disasters get back on their feet, was activated on September 22, and has now determined eligible neighbourhoods for applications. Beyond Ottawa, the program is also helping those affected in the Township of Greater Madawaska, and the downburst in the Township of Central Frontenac.
“The City of Ottawa greatly appreciates this support from the Province of Ontario for emergency cleanup efforts,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “This funding will help the City of Ottawa with its recovery efforts. The removal of trees and debris on private property remains a priority, and our Public Works and Environmental Services department, specifically Forestry Services, has been working around the clock. This assistance will help residents return to their regular routine as quickly as possible.”
“During this difficult time, my government is doing everything we can to ensure people are safe,” said Premier Ford. “We will continue to provide whatever resources we can to help in the recovery, clean-up and rebuilding effort. I want to thank Ministers Merrilee Fullteron and Lisa MacLeod, and local MPPs from all parties for their efforts in helping their communities. I also want to thank Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Michael Tibollo for their support.”
Provincial actions taken to date and underway include:
- Coordinating assistance to Ottawa through the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre as well as deploying staff to the City of Ottawa Emergency Operations Centre
- Working with the Electrical Safety Authority to ensure reconnection inspections are occurring in a timely manner
- Liaising with the Insurance Bureau of Canada to help resolve claims as quickly as possible
- Multiple Provincial Disaster Assessment Teams were deployed to the area
- Mental health specialists from the Emergency Medical Assistance Team have been sent to the Nepean Sportsplex (Community Support Centre) and West Carleton Secondary School to provide onsite support
- ServiceOntario is waiving certain service fees, and offering free driver’s license or Ontario Photo Card replacements for those in affected areas
- Coordinating with telecommunications critical infrastructure partners
- Working with energy sector partners to restore power and ensure hydro crews are adequately supported and resourced
- Extended hours at waste disposal sites to support the recovery plan
- Assisted with debris removal on provincial highways
Background: New funding announcement
The province is providing up to $1.568 million to the City of Ottawa per its request in additional assistance to clear debris, which includes:
- $290,000 towards supporting not-for-profit organizations involved in removing debris from private residences
- $500,000 towards removal of downed trees from private residences
- $778,000 towards supplementing Public Works and Forestry capacity to remove debris from affected areas covering:
- Continued funding of tree-removal claw trucks to complete removal of large trees ($253,000)
- Contract and payment for additional forestry crews to restore parks and public areas of the city ($275,000)
- Funding towards removal and grinding of 10,000 metric tons of logs and brush on city streets and public areas in the Arlington Woods neighbourhood ($250,000)
This funding is in addition to the $140,000 already committed for disposal bins and specialized tree removal equipment.
Hydro One and Hydro Ottawa crews continue working to restore power and request that anyone using a generator please keep it outdoors.
If you have been affected and need someone to talk to, mental health and counseling services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at www.crisisline.ca or by phone at 613-722-6914 within Ottawa, or 1-866-996-0991 across Canada.