Province providing up to $2M for Wheatley following devastating explosion

The provincial government is providing Wheatley with up to $2 million following the gas leak that lead to a devastating explosion in the community.

According to a release from the province, 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. “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.”

The statement from the province goes on to say that 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.

“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.”

A public meeting being held Saturday morning has revealed that the evacuation orders expected to be in place for at least six months.

The municipality and province are asking residents to make sure they're providing as much information to the reception centre / social services as possible to find out what their needs are.

The province has also hired a third party consulting firm to work on finding the source of the gas leak.

Emergency crews were called to the scene of the explosion on Talbot Road east and Elm Street around 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 26.