- Reaction score
I can only speak to one of those, and it was the Toronto snowstorm. I was an Ops OHonest question: Part VI of the NDA speaks to 'aid to the civil power' in response "a riot or disturbance of the peace" that is beyond provincial capabilities. What was the basis for the military's assistance during Covid, forest fires, Toronto snow storms, etc. Is it simply a request for federal assistance during a declared emergency (and, of course, the military being the only government department with capacity to respond)?
I had lived in Toronto, at that time, for 9 years. No winters had seen any significant snowfall since I was posted there. In fact, the Lake Ontario "effect" and the size of the city made sure that very little snow fell or endured.
That changed significantly in 1999. Toronto got hammered snow-wise by three major snow storms in less than two weeks. The city had also recently gotten rid of a vast array of snow removal equipment under amalgamation (hence, a perfect storm).
Consequently, the City of Toronto had no capacity to deal with this.
When the IRU, based out of Petawawa (RCD) arrived, after driving for five hours, the second Capt I spoke to stated "There is more snow in Petawawa'" and my response was along the lines of "yup, got it."
The MND at the time was from Toronto. Weigh that with what you will.
Having said that, we deployed a number of Bisons at paramedic stations to act as ambulances. They could get through where no other vehicle could act, and they delivered., and saved lives.
The Request for Assistance is actuated by the provincial EMO (Emergency Management Office) when they determine that municipal/provincial resources are not sufficient to deal with a crisis, In this case Toronto was clearly out of their depth.