Nova Scotia stingy in paying for pothole damage: NDP critic
HALIFAX -- The vast majority of people who submit claims for vehicle damage to the province of Nova Scotia never get a payment.
Five years ago, Mike MacCluskey hit a pothole in Halifax that took his wheel off. He submitted a claim for reimbursement, and then he waited -- and waited.
"I tried to find out what the process was, how long I should wait, and there really wasn't any feedback from there," MacCluskey said. "So, I emailed back a couple of times through the claim department and never heard from anybody, and I just gave up."
So when he hit a pothole again this May, MacCluskey didn't even bother making a claim, but he did post online, warning other drivers.
"It was a waste of my time before," MacCluskey said. "The Facebook group, everybody in there said the same thing.'I tried, tried, tried, I don't know anybody that's ever got a claim paid personally. So I just gave up."
If you hit a pothole, chances of getting reimbursed for a submitted claim aren't great and the odds are actually getting worse.
Five years ago, 815 claims were submitted and the Nova Scotia government paid out just 64.
That's less than eight per cent and, last year, it was down to five per cent.
From 910 claims submitted, 47 were paid.
The numbers come from a freedom of information request filed by the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party
Susan LeBlanc, their transportation and infrastructure critic says these figures are not good enough.
"People feel let down by the government when they feel like there's something in place, or it looks like there's something in place to help them, and then really the numbers show that it's not," said LeBlanc, who is also the MLA for Dartmouth North.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure says a driver could receive compensation if they hit a pothole that the government is already aware of, and wasn't fixed within an appropriate time frame. That time varies depending on the pothole and the road.