Premier's Statement on Ontario Ice Storm
Office of the Premier
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released the following statement: "I know that many people in communities across southern Ontario are dealing with the effects of the ice storm that began yesterday. This is an issue for our urban areas and for our rural communities as well.
I want to assure everyone living in these areas that all available resources are working to keep you and your families safe and to restore power as quickly as possible.
Right now, provincial officials, including those from Emergency Management Ontario, are working with affected municipalities to ensure a coordinated response.
I spoke with Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly earlier today, as well as Mayor McCallion of Mississauga, Mayor Bratina of Hamilton, Mayor Bevilacqua of Vaughan, Mayor Fennell of Brampton, Mayor Mertens of Prince Edward County, Mayor Farbridge of Guelph, and Waterloo Regional Chair Seiling.
My office spoke with Mayor Zehr of Kitchener, and I've reached out to Mayor Halloran of Waterloo, Mayor Burton of Oakville, Mayor Scarpitti of Markham, Mayor Gerretsen of Kingston, Mayor Goldring of Burlington and York Regional Chair Fisch.
We've offered our full support and our assistance.
Emergency Management Ontario has been in contact with affected municipalities and will remain in contact on a regular basis.
Before the storm hit, some hydro crews were moved in pre-emptively to some affected areas.
Since the storm began, hydro crews from less affected areas of the province, such as Peterborough and Ottawa, are being brought in as they become available to help restore power as quickly as possible.
If communities need help, we will mobilize necessary Ministries to provide it. For example, the Ministry of Natural Resources will be providing tree harvesters to some communities that have requested help.
Local first responders and municipal services are also working hard to make our roads safe and clear branches from power lines. Please do not attempt to move downed branches or trees on your own.
Hospitals without power are running with emergency back-up generators. This afternoon, I spoke with the head of Sunnybrook hospital, one of the facilities currently operating on a back-up generator, and Rob Devitt of Toronto East General Hospital.
I want to thank all of these hard working individuals, including hospital staff and public servants, hydro crews and first responders for their important work, and for answering the call to service at this special time of year.
Christmas is just a few days away, and we are doing everything possible to restore power and ensure safety.
If you live in the areas affected by the storm, please keep off the roads, if you can, so they are clear for emergency services and hydro crews.
Please heed the advice of emergency services, especially when it comes to fire prevention and the safety of your home and family.
Please check on your neighbours, particularly seniors and those most vulnerable to ensure they are safe and warm.
For those who have already taken in friends and neighbours who are without power, thank you. There is no greater gift you could give at this time of year in these circumstances.
The Province of Ontario will use all of its resources to ensure that our hard working hydro crews get the help they need to ensure things get back to normal as quickly as possible.
You can get updated information at www.ontario.ca/warning.
Our team will provide updates on the response efforts as additional information becomes available."