THUNDER BAY – Independent MP Bruce Hyer states that governments at all levels should be working together during the aftermath of the flooding crisis in Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer is calling local municipalities to consider requesting emergency assistance from the Province, and on the Ontario Government to declare Thunder Bay‘s flood-stricken areas a disaster zone so that federal assistance is unlocked. Assistance under the federal-provincial Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement can only be triggered by provincial request.
“I hope that local municipal authorities will consider asking the province for emergency assistance, and that Queen’s Park will see fit to declare a local emergency and request assistance from the federal government,” Hyer said after talking with MPP Michael Gravelle, and Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs on the best way to access federal assistance.
“Roads have been washed out, and water treatment infrastructure has to be repaired, including the Atlantic Avenue sewage treatment plant. A great number of homeowners and businesses are facing a costly cleanup. Governments need to be doing everything we can to mitigate the damage so life can get back to normal.”
“Thousands of homes and businesses in our region have been impacted by the floodwaters, not to mention widespread damage to vital infrastructure,” said Hyer. “We will find out more as the damage is assessed, but we are likely well over the $13 million threshold to trigger federal assistance under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement.”
The Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement provides assistance for:
- The necessities of life to individuals, including help to repair and restore damaged homes;
- Re-establishing or maintaining the viability of small businesses and working farms;
- Repairing, rebuilding and restoring public works and essential community services;
- Funding mitigation measures to reduce the future vulnerability of repaired or replaced infrastructure.
Under the agreement, federal funds available are based on provincial population. For disasters in Ontario, the federal government will fund at least 50% of provincial disaster expenses above $13 million, 75% of eligible expense above $39 million, and 90% of disaster expenses above $65 million.
“In addition to federal assistance that is available under the DFAA agreement, the Minister has the ability to call on local Canadian Forces reserve units if necessary to help.” Hyer affirmed after meeting Public Safety Minister Vic Towes about the flooding. “But the Province must request those resources.”