Ontario earmarks additional $11M for Wheatley explosion expenses
September 1, 2023
By Government of Ontario
The Ontario government is providing an additional $11 million in funding to support the municipality of Chatham-Kent with ongoing emergency management, investigation and community recovery expenses related to the Wheatley explosion in August 2021.
“The explosion that occurred in Wheatley almost two years ago to the day was an unprecedented event,” said Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “More support is needed to alleviate the financial burden Chatham-Kent continues to face. That’s why we are providing additional funding to the municipality as they continue to recover and rebuild the community of Wheatley.”
- $8 million for direct emergency expenses, such as gas monitoring, security and ongoing external investigations.
- $3 million to support Chatham-Kent’s ongoing risk management and investigation efforts to add more safety infrastructure to the explosion site.
- $225,000 to help Chatham-Kent fund a committee of residents and businesses tasked with supporting community redevelopment.
The new funding builds on the more than $27 million the province has invested to date to support the investigation, recovery and monitoring activities in Chatham-Kent, as well as support for eligible businesses and residents.
“The community of Wheatley continues to show amazing tenacity and patience as we navigate the path to regrowth together,” said Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff. “This funding will ensure the future of Wheatley is both brighter and safer. Chatham-Kent would like to thank the dedicated and collaborative efforts of the provincial government, which has provided support to the people of Wheatley throughout this challenging process.”
The province previously announced a $26 million investment to manage the risks posed by old oil and gas wells and subsurface gas migration hazards to help keep people and communities across Ontario safe. A portion of this funding will be dedicated to helping municipalities – including Chatham-Kent – facing complex challenges related to the production of petroleum resources that occurred in their communities.
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