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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. I am a municipal official and a disaster has hit my community. Who do I contact and what do I do?
  2. In addition to necessary emergency response activities, contact your Municipal Advisor at your regional Municipal Services Office as soon as possible. Your advisor will guide you through the process of documenting extraordinary costs related to the natural disaster.

    Consult the Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance program guidelines for additional information.

  3. How much money will a municipality receive if it qualifies for Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance?
  4. The amount of assistance a municipality will receive depends on its eligible disaster-related costs.

    If a municipality qualifies for the program by documenting eligible costs exceeding three per cent of its Own Purpose Taxation levy, and the program is activated, reimbursement is based on a cost-sharing formula:

    • Costs up to three per cent of the municipality’s Own Purpose Taxation levy are reimbursed by the province at 75 per cent. The municipality is responsible for 25 per cent of these costs.
    • Costs exceeding the three per cent threshold are reimbursed by the province at 95 per cent. The municipality is responsible for 5 per cent of these costs.

  5. What is an Own Purpose Taxation levy?
  6. Own Purpose Taxation is the amount of tax a municipality is eligible to collect to fund its own budget, minus certain adjustments, and is intended as an indicator of financial capacity.

    For the purpose of this program, a municipality’s Own Purpose Taxation is taken from the latest Financial Information Return submitted by the municipality and recorded under SLC 10 0299 01 (“Taxation Own Purposes”).

    Your municipality’s most recent Financial Information Return.

  7. Can a municipality receive financial assistance under Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance for losses covered by insurance?
  8. No. Where applicable, municipalities are required to seek reimbursement from insurance coverage before submitting an application for Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance. Losses covered by insurance are not eligible under the program. Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance is not a substitute for adequate insurance coverage.

  9. If a municipality receives donations from the community to assist with disaster recovery, does the amount of those donations affect the level of its disaster assistance reimbursement?
  10. Generally, no. Municipalities often accept donations for activities that fall outside the scope of Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance, such as economic development initiatives, tree replanting and other community services. As long as a municipality’s fundraising initiatives do not fund costs for which the municipality seeks assistance under the program, the municipality does not have to report donations.

  11. Can a municipality apply for assistance associated with the costs of using its own emergency vehicles or services for recovery activities?
  12. Using emergency vehicles is typically not considered an incremental cost. Municipalities regularly budget for the use of emergency vehicles, no matter the type of emergency.

    If an event is large enough to warrant contracting additional vehicles from another jurisdiction, however, those costs may be considered extraordinary and eligible for assistance.

  13. Can local electricity distribution companies receive assistance under Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance?
  14. No. The program is available only to municipalities. Local electricity distribution companies are separate from municipal corporations, and are not eligible to receive assistance under this program.

  15. Can a municipality receive assistance for staff time during regular business hours, if staff members were assigned to disaster-related activities instead of their normal duties?
  16. Only incremental costs are eligible. Incremental costs include regular staff overtime and costs associated with hiring temporary employees to work on disaster response or recovery. The regular salaries of regular employees do not represent an incremental cost to the municipality and are not eligible.

  17. Does Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance cover tree replacement or tree canopy restoration?
  18. No. The program reimburses costs incurred as a result of immediate emergency response, such as setting up evacuation centres, and for the subsequent clean-up of debris necessary to protect public health and safety or to allow access to roads and sidewalks, for example. Tree replacement costs are not eligible.

  19. Are conservation authorities eligible to receive Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance?
  20. No. Municipalities are the only entities eligible for this program.

  21. Why must municipalities submit an application for assistance within 120 calendar days of the onset of a natural disaster?
  22. The timeline of 120 calendar days is designed to provide sufficient time for municipalities to assess and document eligible costs, while also giving Ontario enough time to make a funding application to the federal government in the event that a disaster may qualify for federal assistance.

  23. Does Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance have an annual budget?
  24. Ontario does not have a set budget for disaster assistance. Provincial costs vary significantly from year to year due to the unpredictable nature of disasters.