Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he has reached out to Premier Kathleen Wynne to ask for help after an ice storm caused more than $106-million of damage to the city.
Mr. Ford, who as of Tuesday hadn’t had direct contact with Ms. Wynne over the ice storm, said he has called the Premier and sent an e-mail. During the height of the storm, Ms. Wynne was working directly with Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who saw many of the mayor’s powers transferred to him late last year.
“I want to sit down and ask her face-to-face if she can help us out with the funding,” Mr. Ford said. “Hopefully she will say yes.”
Ms. Wynne’s office did not address the new request by Mr. Ford directly, but repeated what they have said in the past. “Premier Wynne has met and will continue to meet with Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who represents Toronto City Council,” said a spokeswoman for the Premier.
A statement from the Premier’s office Tuesday afternoon said Ms. Wynne is “actively working” to help those affected by the storm. “The Ministry [of Municipal Affairs and Housing] has already begun the process of assessing the requests of the municipalities that are seeking ODRAP [Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program money] and will begin the process with Toronto as soon as possible,” the statement said.
Toronto City Council voted unanimously Monday to ask the provincial and federal governments for a combined $114-million in funding after the December ice storm that wiped out power to more than 300,000 customers across the city.
“The ball now is in the province’s court,” Mr. Ford said. “I’m very confident that they’ll listen and support the people of Toronto and the GTA during this challenging time.”
The mayor said he has suggested a meeting next week, but he added, “I will meet this afternoon or tomorrow, if she wants.”
According to the statement from the Premier’s office, Municipal Affairs Minister Linda Jeffrey will attend a meeting of the Toronto-area mayors Friday to discuss the ice storm. Mr. Ford has said he plans on attending that meeting.
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