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Pilot program will help build infrastructure to withstand extreme weather

DCN News Services
Pilot program will help build infrastructure to withstand extreme weather

TORONTO — A new pilot program will help ensure communities across Ontario are protected from future extreme weather damage.

The Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance (MDRA) program, funded by the provincial government, provides financial assistance to eligible communities that face extraordinary emergency response and repair costs after a natural disaster.

As part of a $1 million pilot project, the province will provide municipalities that qualify for MDRA funding with up to 15 per cent above the estimated cost of rebuilding damaged public infrastructure to make it more resilient to extreme weather, states a June 27 release. Examples could include raising roads to provide better overland flow of water, improving the columns or footings of bridges, or increasing the size of ditches and catch basins to increase their capacity to hold water. Communities affected by spring flooding that occurred after March 1, 2019 are eligible for the enhanced funding.

“This spring we saw the devastating effect of flooding in many Ontario communities,” said Steve Clark, minister of municipal affairs and housing, in a statement. “We want to help municipalities build back better – flood damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure to a higher standard, so it can better withstand extreme weather and we know that some municipalities have limited financial resources to improve local infrastructure. By not having to rebuild the same washed-out road or bridge again and again, communities will save money over the long-term.”

“Given that we’ve had two ‘hundred-year’ floods in a few years, I am pleased that we are going to support municipalities to redesign and rebuild essential municipal infrastructure so that it will be better able to withstand future flooding,” said Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, in a statement.

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