TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne promised more money for Belleville and the surrounding communities Tuesday for infrastructure, more than a week after the area was ravaged by severe flooding.
“We’re dealing with water here and it’s not the first time this region has dealt with water, it’s not the last time,” Wynne told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “So we want to make sure that we have that long term investment in infrastructure that will provide security into the future.”
She suggested the infrastructure funding could come from the $29 billion expected to be raised by shifting revenue from the provincial gas tax and additional revenue tools.
Slightly more than half of the $29 billion has been pledged for infrastructure within the GTA while the remaining $14 billion was promised for projects in the rest of the province.
She stopped short of promising direct funding for flood relief.
The same area was ravaged by flooding in 2008 and experts are predicting the damage could be just as severe this year.
Belleville, Tweed and Central Hastings declared states of emergency last week after water on the Moira River reached levels that surpassed a “100-year event,” Quinte Conservation general manager Terry Murphy told The Canadian Press.
Tweed councillors are expected to pass a resolution asking the province to declare the area a disaster zone so that the town can request emergency provincial funding.
Municipalities have 14 days to apply for funding relief from the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program.