Skip to main content

Good Samaritans help Cape Breton residents after Fiona


It’s been a difficult and stressful few days for Atlantic Canadians impacted by post-tropical storm Fiona, but in one Cape Breton community, it almost looks like a street party.

Many Cape Breton University international students are still in the dark themselves, but they’re still working furiously to prepare food and cook it over an open fire.

“We’re making food,” said one student. “We’re eating. It’s like a party going on, and everyone is happy.”

Outside the makeshift kitchen, hundreds have been showing up for a hot meal.

The students hosting the feast say they aren’t doing this for a pat on the back -- they’re just following their Sikh culture.

“If you go to any of our places of worship, you’ll always see that food is being shared,” said Gurmeet Singh, an international student at CBU. “It’s part of the custom, so that’s what we’re doing. We’re just following what has been taught to us.”

Elsewhere, in what has become legendary long lineups for gas on Cape Breton Island, Shane Chipman and his 17-year-old son Chance could be found filling up jerry cans for strangers.

“I can get around to some people who have low generators or what-not,” Shane Chipman said. “Just any kind of emergency situation that they’re in.”

Not only are they delivering gas to people’s doors, Chipman is paying for it.

“The delivery and the fuel is for free,” he said. “I don’t want anything for any of it.”

In almost as high of demand as gas right now is a hot shower.

The YMCA of Cape Breton is letting people wash up, in many cases, for the first time since Fiona took out power.

“The water bill might be a little higher this month,” said Sabrina Vatcher of the YMCA. “But that’s OK, because this is what we’re here for.”

The aftermath of Fiona has also brought stories of people delivering coffees --- by the hundreds --- to Nova Scotia Power workers restoring the lines.

Back at the student street food setup, they plan to keep the meals coming for at least three or four more days.

With traditional music and the aroma of cooking in the air, the mood was actually festive.

“At home, we would have been alone,” said Singh. “Here, there are hundreds of us together. It just makes you more powerful and more strong.”

Different ways people are lending a hand and lifting their own spirits, making these post-hurricane days --- which have been dark at times --- just a bit brighter. Top Stories

Stay Connected