New Brunswick residents who hunkered down during the recent ice storm and power failures have a certificate to prove it.

These are busy days for the printing press at the St. Croix Courier as the community newspaper tries to keep up with the demand for certificates which honour residents who hunkered down during the recent storm. 

The certificates are a light-hearted jab at New Brunswick Premier David Alward who, in the days following the storm, urged people without power to “hunker down.”

The news editor says the response was immediate.

“There were so many people commenting on our Facebook site and on the phone and through email,” says Vern Faulkner, news editor of the St. Croix Courier.

“The hunker down thing really caught people, just rubbed people the wrong way.”

Mike Caldwell was without power for five days and says the government response was woeful. He says the premier should have declared an emergency.

“Thousands of people without power and no information, phone service was out, cell phone service out, power out, seniors out trying to get around in a rural area, I just found it completely disheartening,” says Caldwell.

But Conservative MLA Curtis Malloch is defending the premier’s choice of words. He says Alward did not mean toughen up when he used the expression “hunker down.”

Malloch says hunker down is a widely used Maritime expression that, in this case, has been widely misinterpreted.

St. George resident John Clark is busy supplying wood to customers who have burned a lot more firewood than expected this year. He has some sympathy for the premier.

“It’s one of those things, I’m sure it was a poor choice of words on his part, but we realize Mother Nature can wreak havoc and we’ve some exceptional weather this year, so, I’m sure we’re all familiar with hunker down,” says Clark.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron