Advocates want compensation for T.O. businesses
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Tuesday, June 29, 2010 7:26PM EDT
Toronto business owners are looking for compensation for smashed windows and damaged storefronts resulting from the weekend's G20 protests, but so far the federal government has given no indication whether it plans to pay up.
Well ahead of the summit, the federal government laid out compensation guidelines for those business owners who operate within a security zone that was to be fenced off.
But the damage inflicted to downtown businesses occurred outside the security fence, leaving these business owners unsure of whether they will receive any compensation at all, said Joe MacDonald of the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area.
MacDonald told CTV's Canada AM that businesses are first going to their insurance companies to see what kind of coverage they have, while poring over the compensation guidelines to see if they can seek any possible recourse from any levels of government.
"There is a clause that seems to work in our favour, but we have to pursue that with the federal government and with the City of Toronto," he said during an interview in Toronto on Tuesday morning.
Hundreds of people were arrested in the lead up to, and during, the weekend of the Toronto-hosted G20 summit. And while only a minority of people on the streets appeared to be engaged in destructive actions, they have left business owners with costly clean-up bills.
City councilor Adam Vaughan represents a ward in downtown Toronto that was hardest-hit by the weekend rioting, where at least two police cars were torched.
"Most of them are small, family-run businesses, they are not large corporations," Vaughan told Canada AM during a telephone interview from Toronto on Tuesday morning.
"They are simply asking Ottawa to provide compensation and pick up the tab for what clearly is exceptional damage to businesses and much of it is not covered by insurance -- you can't get much coverage for broken windows and vandalism in Toronto."
Since the vandalism occurred on the weekend, Toronto Mayor David Miller has made repeated calls for Ottawa to step in and help out affected businesses.
"This is a federal responsibility," Miller said Monday. "It's their conference."
Vaughan said he has been in communication with the mayor and shares his view on the compensation issue.
"Surely Ottawa and Stephen Harper has an obligation to render the city whole again," said Vaughan.
With files from The Canadian Press