Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MPP demands more provincial coverage for flooded homes

Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MPP Percy Hatfield demanded the provincial government amend the Ontario Disaster Recovery Assistance Program to cover homes experiencing sewer backups.

Percy Hatfield wants sewer backup covered under Ontario's assistance program

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath (centre) toured flood damage in hard-hit areas of Windsor Tuesday along with MPP Percy Hatfield (left) and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MPP Percy Hatfield is calling on the provincial government to amend the Ontario Disaster Recovery Assistance Program to cover homes experiencing sewer backups. 

"Criteria for Ontario's disaster relief assistance program were written in the last century," Hatfield said at Queen's Park Wednesday. "We had more than 6,000 homes flooded recently and the minister of Municipal Affairs took a look and says few of them will qualify under the existing guidelines. Well duh, let's change the guidelines."

Record-breaking rainfall in the region caused at least 6,116 basements to flood in the Windsor region, and caused around $175-million in damage to homes, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said in a Ward 1 meeting Tuesday night.

Currently, sewer backups do not qualify for assistance through the province's relief program.

"Some private insurance companies have cut off people without warning," said Hatfield. "When will this government do the right thing, change the guidelines, and offer real hope for people affected by natural disasters?" 

City residents were also eligible to apply for disaster relief assistance following flooding last September. Of the 583 people who applied for assistance, only 122 received any aid.