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Ice Storm Assistance Program

Ice Storm Assistance Program [Print-friendly PDF]

Winter 2016 Program Update

Ontario has issued final payments to claimants that were severely impacted by the December 21-22, 2013 ice storm event.

In total, 58 claims were received and the province provided more than $131 million in financial assistance to eligible claimants.

Given the magnitude of the disaster, the province will be seeking federal reimbursement in 2016 for eligible costs through the Federal Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program.

Program Facts

  • The December 2013 ice storm affected a large part of Southern Ontario, including the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. It was the most widespread and costly natural disaster in Ontario since the 1998 ice storm that impacted Eastern Ontario.
  • Increased ice accumulation caused downed trees and major transportation network problems. At the peak of the storm, over 800,000 households were without power.
  • The Ice Storm Assistance Program, a one-time disaster program announced on February 26, 2014, was created to help municipalities and conservation authorities severely impacted by the ice storm event. The province committed to funding 100 per cent of eligible costs related to emergency response and recovery.
  • The program focused on costs for immediate emergency response, such as setting up warming centres and cleaning up debris, as well as recovery costs to protect public health and safety and to allow access to roads, sidewalks and frequently travelled routes. 
  • The deadline to submit a claim and associated supporting documentation was December 31, 2014. Fifty-two (52) municipalities and six (6) conservation authorities submitted final claims.
  • The province provided interim payments to claimants in early 2015 to ensure that money was flowing back to the communities as soon as possible.
  • Claims were reviewed line by line to ensure costs were calculated correctly and were attributable to the ice storm, and that there was supporting documentation for submitted costs. Claimants were provided the opportunity to address claim deficiencies as part of the review process.
  • The province reimbursed 100 per cent of eligible response and recovery costs, totalling more than $131 million.
  • The province is currently preparing a claim under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements for submission to the federal government in 2016.