NDP promise more money for floods, extreme weather | Windsor Star

The NDP’s election platform includes a commitment to spend $2.5 billion more to help municipalities deal with floods and extreme weather due to climate change, the party’s local candidates highlighted Thursday.

The money would help pay for disaster relief and adapting municipal infrastructure to withstand extreme weather.

“People are feeling and experiencing it in very real ways, and it’s really creating hardship,” said Essex NDP candidate Tracey Ramsey, citing sandbag stations in her riding because of high lake and river levels.

Some homes in Windsor-Tecumseh flooded several times during the massive rain storms of 2016 and 2017, and their owners can no longer get flood insurance, said the riding’s NDP candidate Cheryl Hardcastle.

“These are not one-offs,” she said. “This is happening systematically now, and we need to have a plan to address that.”

The NDP would not require municipalities or the provincial government to match the federal government’s funding, said Ramsey, Hardcastle and Windsor West NDP candidate Brian Masse.

“This is unfettered access to disaster relief and then to assist the municipality to come up with long term plans,” Hardcastle said.

The federal government has already pledged more than $32 million for a massive $89.3-million 10-year plan to protect Riverside and East Riverside from flooding.

The money is part of Infrastructure Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, a $2-billion fund that pays up to 40 per cent of a municipality’s costs for projects that help  manage the risks of natural disasters due to climate change, including floods, fires and droughts.

The project includes replacing and expanding sewers and fixing the roads on top of them, providing new outlets for storm water to drain into the Detroit River, upgrading pumping stations, storm water retention ponds and other measures to lessen the damage from big storms.

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What matters is that municipalities can count on proper funding in order to plan, said city treasurer Joe Mancina.

“Ideally the grant funding programs would be established in a manner where the funding levels are increased from current levels, predictable, sustainable and committed and dedicated over a long term period. This allows for proper long term planning …,” he said.

This content was originally published here.

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