Funding for the December ice storm and the latest developments in the Toronto mayoral race were among the items discussed during the latest meeting between Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Wynne said her Monday meeting with Kelly was productive, and that a decision on the ice storm funding should be made this week.
“I have committed that we will have a response and there will be an announcement before March 1 about what that support will be,” Wynne said.
The massive ice storm hit that the GTA on Dec. 21, 2013 downed power lines and left 600,000 customers without power in Ontario. It also cost the GTA at least $275 million, including $106 million for Toronto.
GTA mayors and regional chairs passed a unanimous resolution on Jan. 17, asking the provincial and federal governments to provide financial assistance.
The resolution asks that the municipalities, the provincial government and the federal government each cover one-third of the costs. It also asks that Queen’s Park and Ottawa treat all municipalities equally and to respond by March 1.
Upcoming mayoral election
The premier and Kelly were also asked about the mayoral race at city hall; however, neither wanted to offer any input.
“My focus is on the city, city hall and its business, so that’s where I’ll be focusing my attention and spending my time,” Kelly said.
“I haven’t even begun to think about the race. My thoughts are on the agenda of the City of Toronto.”
Wynne would only say it’s good to see people taking an interest in running for office.
“I am not going to weigh in on one candidate over another, or one idea over another. I really do think it is important that we have good competitive races in every part of the province,” she said.
Coun. Karen Stintz and former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, John Tory, have officially entered the mayoral race, filing their nomination papers with the city clerk on Monday morning. They will be joining incumbent Mayor Rob Ford and former city councillor David Soknacki on the campaign trail.
Wynne and Kelly also discussed the Build Toronto initiative and Ontario Place, and the deputy mayor said progress is being made.
“The premier and I share a deep affection for the City of Toronto, and an enthusiasm to grow this city. There’s remarkable potential here in this city that has to be either unlocked or channeled,” Kelly said.