After this spring’s unprecedented flooding in Parry Sound-Muskoka as well as in the Ottawa Valley and elsewhere, the Ontario government is engaging with municipal officials to discuss how to improve Ontario’s resilience to flooding.
Premier Doug Ford announced the internal task force to better plan for and reduce the impacts of flooding in the Legislature on Monday.
The first session took place today in Huntsville where local MPP Norman Miller was joined by Toby Barrett, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry; Jim McDonell, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and Finance Minister and MPP for Nipissing Vic Fedeli. The group heard from municipal leaders of those communities that were most severely impacted by this spring’s flooding. Meetings in Pembroke and Ottawa will follow next week.
“I want to thank the Ministers of Natural Resources and Forestry and Municipal Affairs and Housing for their quick responses to the flooding and for turning their attention to future planning,” said Miller. “It was good to bring everyone together to hear their suggestions for how to improve the system going forward as extreme weather seems to be happening more frequently.”
The Ontario government is also seeking feedback from the public through a newly created website at www.ontario.ca/floodsurvey.
The Made-In-Ontario Environment Plan also commits to a provincial impact assessment to identify where and how climate change is likely to impact Ontario’s communities and find ways to improve resilience to severe weather.
The Province has activated the Disaster Relief Assistance for Ontarians program for areas of Bracebridge, Huntsville, Muskoka Lakes, Armour Township, Ryerson Township and Burk’s Falls that were impacted by the flooding. Residents of these areas can get more information at www.ontario.ca/disasterassistance.