Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Wheatley Explosion Update: Province providing $2-million to impacted businesses

The Ontario government is taking further action by providing the town of Wheatley with up to $2-million in funding following a devastating gas leak explosion in the community.

Provincial officials say the funding will help directly impacted eligible businesses resume operations and provide goods and services to families.

“The people of Wheatley have shown tremendous strength in the aftermath of the devastating gas leak explosion last month,” said Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, in a media release.

“They have pulled together and shown incredible resolve as the community works to rebuild what was lost. As this funding shows, we stand ready and willing to help the town of Wheatley and they can continue to count on our government’s support.”

Details of the business support program will be developed in consultation with the municipality and business community.

Ontario will also continue providing technical support and working closely with the municipality’s economic development and social services departments, Provincial officials say.

“Local businesses are the heart and soul of Wheatley’s community and the absence of these vital operators is felt by all the residents,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.

“Our government stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Wheatley and this funding reaffirms our commitment to ensure they continue to have the support they need.”

An explosion at a building in Wheatley, a community in the municipality of Chatham-Kent, occurred on August 26, 2021.

An investigation into the cause of the leak and the explosion is ongoing.

Provincial officials say the province has been working with the municipality since the leak was discovered in June, and providing funding to monitor the site 24 hours a day to detect any further natural gas leaks since July.

As part of Ontario’s ongoing support to the municipality, the province has now contracted an expert engineering consultant to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the source of the gas leak, and to determine remediation options.

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