Hastings Lennox & Addington MPP Ric Bresee says he wants to reform how Ontario supports people and businesses hurt by natural disasters.
After talking to people in Hastings County who were impacted by large wind storms last summer, he feels that the criteria of who can qualify for Ontario’s Disaster Relief Assistance fund is too narrow.
He says that funding helps people when wide swaths of homes have been destroyed, but the fund can rarely be accessed by cottagers or owners of rural businesses who’ve lost property.
“We know there are a number of people who have second homes in our area,” he says. “Second homes will not qualify. Businesses do not qualify. It has to be your own home, a principal residence and not covered by insurance.
“At this point, what I’m trying to work through and essentially brainstorm is to figure out a program that would actually be beneficial, that would help some of these people who are blocked out from being helped by these programs.”
Bresee says he hopes to speak to more business owners and experts who can make recommendations on new reforms, before proposing changes to the Conservative Party cabinet and appropriate ministers.