Speaking to a Ward 25 resident who had to move his young family on Christmas Eve due to a power outage.
As you know, Ward 25 was particularly hard hit by the ice storm. In the words of Toronto Hydro’s CEO Anthony Haines, it was “decimated.” Like many of you, I spent an extended period in the dark, and I worked around the clock for ten straight days advocating for Ward 25, sending out updates and keeping in constant contact with senior staff from the city and Toronto Hydro.
More recently, I have been working with the General Manager of Solid Waste and the Director of Urban Forestry to ensure that the many branches and downed limbs across the Ward are cleaned up. The clean up effort is significant and ongoing. You can get more more information on roadside branch and limb collection and monitor the clean up’s progress online. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any issues or problems about the clean up. Just let me know your street and address and I’ll do my best to take care of it as quickly as possible.
More broadly, there was significant room for improvement in the city’s response to the storm. In early January, City Council asked for a full and comprehensive review of that response, including actions to improve the city’s response to extreme weather events going forward.
I successfully moved a three-part motion based on what I heard from you during and after the ice storm. My motion asks the City Manager to develop a communication strategy to ensure that those without access to the internet or a smart phone can be reached with essential information. My motion also requested an updated tree pruning and maintenance strategy to reduce the vulnerability of city trees to future ice storms as well as a strategy to repair the serious and significant damage sustained by our tree canopy. You can read my motion along with the full City Council decision and staff report here.