Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

Delaying disaster assistance is abandoning tornado victims: NDP MPP for Ottawa Centre

Published on March 18, 2019

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPP for Ottawa Centre Joel Harden released the following statement, in response to news reported by CBC that 104 of 111 victims of the tornadoes in the Ottawa-Gatineau region last September have still not received financial assistance from the Ford government:

“The lives of thousands of people in the Ottawa-area were overturned on Sept. 21, 2018, when six tornadoes that ripped through the Ottawa-Gatineau region destroyed thousands of homes, unearthed trees and caused pervasive power outages. Families were left reeling from the shock and devastation of property damage, as well as uncertainty for their financial futures.

The fact that six months after this devastating event, the vast majority of residents who applied for financial assistance through the province’s Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program — that’s 104 out of 111 applicants— have yet to receive help from the Ford government is, frankly, appalling.

Doug Ford has left these residents hanging, waiting for money they badly need to pay for the costs of essential repairs or replacements that their insurance, if they have it, won’t cover. The Ford government is dragging its heels while the over 100 victims struggle to get back on their feet. How long will Ford make families and businesses wait to get the help they so badly need?

People in Ottawa-Gatineau deserve a government that offers immediate support when disaster strikes, one that makes getting these residents back on their feet a priority. Ontarians deserve more from their government, not less.”