Last week at the annual Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) conference in Niagara Falls, Premier Wynne announced that the government will introduce two new disaster assistance programs: one for municipalities and one for citizens and other organizations. The two new initiatives will replace the beleaguered Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP), which the government has been reviewing since early 2015.
AMCTO presented a submission to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) as part of that review, with five high-level recommendations for making ODRAP a more effective program for municipalities in Ontario. While only limited details about the new programs have been released, it appears that the government has adopted two of AMCTO’s recommendations. Specifically the new program will extend the amount of time for municipalities to assess damage costs from 14 days to 4 months and eliminate the private fundraising and donation matching component.
AMCTO will continue to monitor this file and provide more detailed updates when the full program details are released by the Ministry in early 2016. For more information you can read AMCTO’s submission, or the government’s news release.