Ontario adviser reports on flood mitigation; province doesn’t commit to funds


TORONTO — Ontario’s special adviser on flooding has published 66 recommendations to improve the province’s resiliency to floods, but the government isn’t saying if it will commit more funding to implement them.

Doug McNeil, a former Manitoba deputy minister who also held senior positions at the Manitoba Floodway Authority, was appointed after several areas of Ontario experienced high water this spring.

McNeil says the flooding was caused by a colder-than-average winter and spring, higher-than-average snowpack, the lack of a significant winter thaw, rapid snowmelt and a lot of rain in the spring.

His recommendations to mitigate damage include changes to floodplain mapping, and helping municipalities to ensure the conservation and restoration of natural green infrastructure such as wetlands.

Natural Resources Minister John Yakabuski says he will be reviewing the recommendations and won’t commit right now to more funding, but he says he believes the province will be asking the federal government to contribute.

Earlier this year, the Progressive Conservative government cut conservation authorities’ funding for flood management in half.