QUEEN’S PARK – Minister Updates Flood Disaster Relief Funding. Upon notification of the flooding in the region of Thunder Bay and surrounding vicinity my Ministry quickly responded and implemented the Ontario Disaster Relief Program (ODRAP). The Province has committed up to $17.2 million to assist Thunder Bay, Conmee, and Oliver Paipoonge. Of those funds, up to $14 million will help restore public facilities and infrastructure and up to $3.2 million is earmarked to help residents and small businesses affected by the flood. To be clear, the Province is willing to provide up to $17.2 million in assistance – far more than the $300,000 that was reported.
Staff from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing have met weekly with the Disaster Relief Committee (DRC) and the City of Thunder Bay since the last year’s flood to ensure residents get what they need. We will continue to work with the City and the Committee to find solutions that work within the guidelines agreed upon by all parties. The province will continue to support the community but it is critical that all levels of government work together in the best interest of residents.
ODRAP’s primary function is to provide the support our cities and towns need after a disaster to help provide the essentials of life, like water, heating and housing. It is not meant as a substitute for private insurance. The ODRAP guidelines are clear, the program is intended to help uninsured people get back on their feet and replace essential property. The rules that guide our work in Thunder Bay under ODRAP are exactly the same guidelines which are followed when other municipalities in Ontario experience a disaster. The combination of private fundraising and provincial top up will ensure all eligible expenses submitted by applicants will be funded. I have a responsibility to use taxpayers’ dollars transparently and to account for every expenditure the province makes.
All of the information about the structure and guidelines of the ODRAP program and how it must be administered was shared with the DRC and the City of Thunder Bay from the beginning.
I am grateful for the work done by the Disaster Relief Committee and for the cooperation and goodwill exhibited by the people of Thunder Bay. There is more work to do and I have no doubt that if we work side by side, we will support this community.
Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing