Event: Climate Risk Management Strategies for Municipalities

The Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance is hosting an event on how municipalities can better prepare themselves for extreme weather as the global climate shifts. See below for a full description of the event, which will be held in Toronto on February 28, 2017. Register here.

Tackling the Storm out of the Norm: Climate Risk Management Strategies for Canadian Cities


Severe thunderstorms, flooding, hail and icestorms, and blizzards increasingly threaten Canadian cities. As the global climate shifts, Canadian cities face significant and costly risks from extreme weather. These costs are enhanced in cities because they have large, dense populations, valuable and geographically concentrated property, and complex infrastructure networks. What tools are available to local governments seeking to share the growing risks associated with a changing climate with other levels of government and non-governmental actors?

This talk is the first in a series of IMFG publications and events on climate change and Canadian cities.

About the Speakers

Daniel Henstra is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. His research centres on public administration and public policy, with a focus on emergency management, climate adaptation, and flood risk governance. Within these subject areas, he investigates multilevel policy processes involving federal, provincial, and municipal governments, and the complex, networked relationships among elected officials, public servants, stakeholders, and the public.

Jason Thistlethwaite is Assistant Professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on the financial risks of climate change, natural disasters, and extreme weather. His recent work explores the role of insurance and government risk management in promoting climate change adaptation and reducing economic vulnerability at the local level.


Ontario Accepting Applications for Natural Disaster Mitigation Projects

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is accepting applications for disaster mitigation projects as part of the federal government’s National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP). The NDMP is a 5-year $200 million program that is designed to help communities guard against the risks of natural disasters. Eligible projects can come from any one of the following four streams:

  1. Risks assessments
  2. Flood mapping
  3. Mitigation planning
  4. Investments in non-structural and small scale structural mitigation projects

The deadline to submit proposals in June 9, 2016. Find more information about this program on MMAH’s website.


Government Releases New Disaster Assistance Programs

Monday at the 2016 ROMA-OGRA combined conference, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Ted McMeekin revealed the full details of two new programs that will replace the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP): one for municipalities and one for citizens, small businesses, farms, and not-for-profits.

AMCTO presented a submission to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) as part of its review of ODRAP in early 2015, and is pleased that the government has adopted two of its recommendations. Specifically, the government’s new disaster assistance program for municipalities will:

  1.  Extend the amount of time for local governments to assess damage costs from 14 days to 4 months, and
  2. Eliminate the private fundraising and donation matching component.

Over the coming weeks AMCTO will work with its members to analyze the government’s new program. For more information you can read AMCTO’s submission, or the full program details.

Should you have any questions or require further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact Rick Johal, Director of Member & Sector Relations at rjohal@amcto.com.

Final Ice Storm Assistance Payments

The government of Ontario has now finalized all of its payments to municipalities and conservation authorities that were impacted by the December 2013 ice storm. In total 58 municipalities and conservation areas received over $131 million in funding. See below for the full list of disbursements.

Ice Storm Disbursements, Top 10  Recipients 

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Ice Storm Disbursements, Bottom 10 Recipients

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  • Ajax – $416,308
  • Alnwick/Haldimand – $73,696
  • Aurora – $173,660
  • Brampton – $15,764,969
  • Brant County – $44,803
  • Brantford – $90,515
  • Burlington – $2,070,409
  • Caledon – $755,993
  • Cambridge – $325,027
  • Centre Wellington – $297,543
  • Clarington – $876,461
  • Cobourg – $89,612
  • Durham Region – $2,027,685
  • East Gwillimbury – $13,435
  • Erin – $441,571
  • Guelph – $352,823
  • Guelph/Eramosa – $159,573
  • Halton Hills – $895,766
  • Halton Region – $2,829,983
  • Hamilton – $2,117,429
  • Hamilton Township – $19,201
  • Huron East – $11,000
  • King – $226,576
  • Kitchener – $310,474
  • Mapleton – $23,009
  • Markham – $6,048,499
  • Milton – $1,857,521
  • Minto – $70,917
  • Mississauga – $8,307,061
  • Newmarket – $64,097
  • North Perth – $87,760
  • Northumberland County – $37,081
  • Oakville – $6,006,572
  • Oshawa – $1,643,181
  • Peel Region – $2,366,874
  • Pickering – $518,531
  • Port Hope – $425,808
  • Prince Edward County – $422,673
  • Puslinch – $44,923
  • Richmond Hill – $1,883,279
  • Stratford – $11,366
  • Toronto – $56,347,744
  • Vaughan – $9,793,819
  • Waterloo – $252,290
  • Waterloo Region – $66,617
  • Wellington North – $6,237
  • West Perth – $18,410
  • Whitby – $756,127
  • Whitchurch-Stouffville – $258,255
  • Wilmot – $24,450
  • Woolwich – $158,774
  • York Region – $2,239,631
  • Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority – $10,691
  • Credit Valley Conservation Authority – $71,075
  • Grand River Conservation Authority – $542,725
  • Halton Region Conservation Authority – $118,113
  • Hamilton Region Conservation Authority – $54,335
  • Toronto and Region Conservation Authority – $212,246

Fore more:

Ice Storm Assistance Program 

Local Government Perspective on Federal Mandate Letters

Last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released the mandate letters that he provided to each of his cabinet ministers following their swearing-in at the beginning of November. We’ve prepared a backgrounder highlighting a local government perspective on the new Prime Ministers priorities.

Learn more here:

Backgrounder – Local Gov’t Perspective on Federal Mandate Letters

RELEASE: ODRAP Announcement Points to Successful Advocacy

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.

New Disaster Assistance Programs Announced:

The government has announced that it will replace the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) with two new disaster assistance programs. You can read about the changes here. While only limited details have been revealed, the government has adopted two of AMCTO’s recommendations, including an extension of the amount of time for municipalities to assess damage costs from 14 days to 4 months. The full changes will be made available in early 2016, for more information in the meantime you can read AMCTO’s submission on the program.