September 13, 2017 QUEEN’S PARK — Today, Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield demanded that the government change the criteria for assistance through the Ontario Disaster Recovery Assistance Program to allow families experiencing sewer backups to qualify.
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“Criteria for Ontario’s disaster relief assistance program were written in the last century,” said Hatfield. “Sewer backup claims during torrential rainfalls aren’t covered. In our area, we had more than 6,000 homes flooded recently and the minister of Municipal Affairs took a look and says few of them will qualify under the existing guidelines. Well duh – let’s change the guidelines.”
Torrential rainfall on Aug. 29 resulted in thousands of sewer backups at households throughout Windsor and Essex County. Sewer backups do not qualify for assistance through the Ontario Disaster Recovery Assistance Program and private insurance companies often make it difficult to file a claim.
“Some private insurance companies have cut off people without warning,” said Hatfield. “Some of them cap any claims at ridiculous amounts. Windsor’s mayor says floods from this last storm caused $175 million dollars in damage in his city. The evidence is in – we need a decision.”
“When will this government do the right thing, change the guidelines, and offer real hope for people affected by natural disasters?” asked Hatfield.