While hundreds of Canadian Forces personnel have fanned out across the Maritimes to help restore power in the wake of post-tropical storm Dorian, P.E.I. has shunned any help from Ottawa.
“Up to this point, P.E.I. has not needed any resources held by the federal government,’’ says Tanya Mullally, provincial emergency measures co-ordinator.
Going it alone when tens of thousands of Islanders lost power has left some furious and frustrated, says Todd LaFrance of Oyster Bed Bridge.
“I think it is just very, very poor decision-making,’’ he says, noting thousands are still without power in P.E.I. since Dorian struck last weekend.
LaFrance, who lost power for three days, feels P.E.I. should have leaned on Canadian troops to help restore electricity, clear roadways and help residents in flooded areas.
He was informed by Malpeque MP Wayne Easter in an email that federal services were offered immediately via calls from Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to each province.
“From there services were allocated based on the needs suggested or requested by provincial Emergency Measures Organizations locally,’’ said Easter in an email shared with The Guardian.
Mullally, however, says P.E.I.’s Emergency Measures Organization has representatives from Department of National Defence and Public Safety Canada that are part of the emergency operations centre team, and has been with the EMO in the provincial operations centre this week.
“There are regular conversations on P.E.I.’s storm response, any potential challenges and the various available resources,’’ she says.
“Addressing this urgent issue has been our focus, with our partners, this week. We thank the government road crews, forestry crews, municipal governments, utility staff and all others that have answered the call to help Islanders in need.’’
More than 70 crews from Maritime Electric, and partner organizations have been working to restore power across the province.
Maritime Electric was reporting nearly 10,000 customers without power Friday afternoon.