P.E.I. premier sees progress in clean up and restoration efforts, supports announced for residents
Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King says, although there is still a lot of work to be done before things get back to normal on the island, there has been quite a bit of progress after post-tropical storm Fiona wreaked havoc across the province Saturday.
During a live news conference Wednesday, King assured Islanders there has been an "all hands on deck" approach, with crews working all hours of the day.
"We're doing everything we can and even more to make our way through this as fast as we can," said King during the news conference.
As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, more than 53,000 Maritime Electric customers were still without power on P.E.I. – about a third of customers according to King.
The premier took a moment during Wednesday's live news conference to thank everyone involved in the island's clean up and restoration efforts.
"When we look at the big job that is ahead of us, it can be daunting sometimes. But it is you and so many others who give us the inspiration to keep going and when we say those words, 'We will get through this,' it's because you are giving us that inspiration and comfort, so thank you," he said.
CLEAN UP EFFORTS AND DEBRIS DROP-OFF
King said his province has partnered with about 30 private landowners to open up debris pits beginning Thursday in communities across the province.
A list of locations for debris pits is available online.
King says these sites are for brush and yard debris only. They are not for construction or demolition material.
Anyone unable to transport their yard debris can call their local Access PEI line.The department will start a list and work with local contractors to visit properties and help with debris clean up and removal.
"Islanders who need help with cutting fallen trees on their property, or moving that large debris curbside because it is a safety hazard, you should call Access PEI as well to have your name put on that list," said King. "This service will not start until the demand for road cleanup efforts have been reduced, but if you're in an emergency situation where you need a driveway, or access approved, that will be prioritized as well."
All waste watch drop-off centres will reopen Thursday. King says centres in Brockton, New London, Murray River, Dingwell Mills, and East Prince will operate on extended hours until Oct. 15.
King says residents can drop off items, like spoiled food and waste, free of charge to these centres until Oct. 15.
"I'd also like to say, if you can get your bin to the corner, our regular waste watch bin collection will begin and resume tomorrow," he said.
The staff at Access PEI locations is also available to answer questions and help navigate through government and other community services for those who are impacted by Fiona.
King says Access PEI sites will be opened as power is restored across the province and buildings are deemed safe to go in.
"We're still very much in the recovery mode of this, but I do know that rebuilding is on the minds of thousands of Islanders who need it," King said. "When we look at the sheer volume of the work that is ahead, we know capacity in our construction industry will be a challenge."
SUPPORT FOR ISLANDERS
King said he has been meeting with cabinet regularly to discuss the support Islanders need at this time.
"As a start, we have set aside $50 million for program support and financial assistance to begin," he said. "Some of this has already been announced. There will be more details to share of how that will be rolled out, but we have our eyes wide open in knowing that might just indeed be a start to what we need to find our way through this."
Matthew Mackay, the minister of Economic Growth and Tourism on P.E.I., announced a number of one-time financial supports that will start next week and were created to help Islanders during this difficult time.
MacKay said these supports include:
- $150 for each social assistance and assured income recipient and their dependant
- $150 for each social housing household, including mobile rental voucher and rental supplement recipients
- $150 for each household registered with the seniors independence initiative
- $100 one-time grocery voucher to any household with an Islander over the age of 65
Islanders who have previously received a one-time grocery voucher will automatically receive another $100 grocery voucher the same way they did previously.
Any household with Islanders over the age of 65 can apply for the voucher on the government's website or by calling 211.
MacKay says support will also be provided to many non-profit organizations across the island.
"Our priority is to ensure that Islanders are safe and have what they need to be safe and as comfortable as possible," he said. "As of today, $200,000 will go to The Adventure Group to offer continued and extra services at the community outreach centre to administer funding to other community support organizations."
MacKay says about $500,000 will also go to over a dozen community organizations to support the basic needs of their clients. Another $500,000 will go towards P.E.I. food banks, and $240,000 will go towards residential NGO's who provide support to Islanders with disabilities.
The province has also been working with municipalities to support Islanders who are in need of food. He says they are working on making sure all P.E.I. reception centres are offering food to their visitors. Any Islander in need of food should visit their closest reception centre.
"If you do not have access to transportation, or are in an emergency situation and are in need of food, please call 211 for assistance," said MacKay.
MacKay warns the 211 line is very busy, and asks Islanders for their patience when trying to call.
POWER RESTORATION EFFORTS
Kim Griffin is the sustainability and corporate communications manager for Maritime Electric. During Wednesday's live news conference, she provided an update on the power company's restoration efforts so far.
As of Wednesday, Griffin says 124 crews are on the ground throughout P.E.I., with 31 more crews on the way to help.
There were also 488 power poles down across the island, as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to Griffin.
To date, about 28,000 customers have been restored, which represents about 34 per cent of Maritime Electric's customers.
Griffin provided an update with percentages on how many people are still without power in different regions of the province.
For the western side of P.E.I., about 48 per cent of customers are still without power.
In the Charlottetown area, about 57 per cent of customers remain without power.
In the province's central area, Griffin says there are still about 80 per cent of customers without power.
On the eastern side, about 82 per cent of customers are still waiting for power to be restored.
"With that being said, it's really important as you see the restoration efforts that we made over the last couple of days, that we are in much better shape than we were yesterday," said Griffin.
Griffin says she speaks with her crews several times a day, who all remain optimistic.
The director of P.E.I. EMO, Tanya Mullally, said Islander's safety continues to be the province's top priority.
The province provided a list of safety precautions residents should be taking during different steps of the restoration effort.
The province says, for those still without power, the following steps should be taken ahead of it coming back:
- Make sure stoves and other fire hazards are turned off, so they do not pose a fire risk when the power is turned on.
- Do not attempt to remove trees either close to or directly on power lines.
- Stay away from all power lines for your own safety, and so crews can do their work as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.
Any Islanders running a portable generator, carbon monoxide safety should be top of mind:
- Portable generator exhaust can be deadly.
- Keep generators 20 feet away from doors, windows and vents.
- Make sure the fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building.
- Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
- Never use outdoor cooking units such as camping stoves, barbeques or butane burners inside your home or near your windows and doors.
- Carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are essential safety tools. If you are running a generator, make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are in good working order. If you do not have a carbon monoxide and smoke alarm, it’s time to purchase one.
How to handle spoiled food is also something all Islanders should be aware of. During prolonged power outages:
- Food that is normally refrigerated must be discarded after 24 hours without power
- Frozen food must be discarded after 48 hours without power
- If it can be done safely, food should be separated from packaging and placed in the green cart
- Packaging should be placed in waste or recycling according to Waste Watch guidelines available at Island Waste Management Corporation.
- If sorting can’t be done safely, place the packaged food in the black cart.
- Wash hands carefully after dealing with spoiled food. Clean any surfaces that comes into contact with spoiled food.
The province says Ground Search and Rescue crews have also been working at full capacity to knock on doors and perform wellness checks on Island residents in need.
Any Islander in need of a wellness check can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-833-796-0642, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
A spokesman for the chair of an all-party parliamentary group says it is "carefully" reviewing how it handles events with outside events after a newspaper publisher accused of holding antisemitic views took part in a recent gathering.
A U.S. woman was killed and four other passengers injured when a massive wave struck the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it was sailing toward the port of Ushuaia in southern Argentina on an Antarctic cruise, authorities said.
The Bank of Canada is expected to conclude a historic year marked by high inflation and aggressive monetary policy tightening with one more interest rate hike on Wednesday.
Twitter has suspended rapper Ye after he tweeted a picture of a swastika merged with the Star of David.
U.S. prosecutors on Thursday asked a judge to dismiss bank fraud and other charges against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies whose 2018 arrest strained relations between the U.S. and China.
The deaths of four University of Idaho students nearly three weeks ago have riled up thousands of would-be armchair sleuths, many of whom are posting speculation and unfounded rumors about the fatal stabbings online.
After 300 hours of testimony, 9,000 exhibits and a few major revelations, the public portion of an investigation into the first-ever use of the Emergencies Act ended Friday with a deep dive into questions about government accountability and transparency.
Hockey Canada says there were more than 900 documented or alleged incidents of on-ice discrimination -- verbal taunts, insults and intimidation -- across all levels and age groups during the 2021-22 season.
A group of 26 coworkers from across Ontario have won big.
Toronto police have laid charges against an Ontario woman after her request for a cigarette turned into an alleged armed carjacking.
Students walked out of a Toronto high school they say has become the site of 'constant chaos' in which students detail deplorable conditions, teachers say it’s violent and parents are demanding action from the school board.
Police say charges are pending against a 29-year-old man.
'Everyone’s game': Hockey Calgary committed to education amid release of national on-ice discrimination report
Hockey Calgary is reminding its minor hockey players of the importance of inclusivity after the release of a national report from Hockey Canada that outlined more than 900 documented or alleged incidents of on-ice discrimination during the 2021-22 season.
Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Alberta's proposed sovereignty act is undemocratic and an unwelcome distraction from the struggles residents of the province are facing.
A Quebec judge has ordered Quebec provincial police and the Montreal police service to pay more than $290,000 in damages to four victims of the 2012 election night Metropolis shooting. Superior Court Justice Philippe Belanger laid the blame at the feet of the two police forces whose security plan had a 'major flaw' that a gunman took advantage of when he stormed the back of the building on Sept. 4, 2012.
Firefighters from several municipalities were called to the scene of a large fire Friday at the Mont-Gabriel Hotel in Sainte-Adele, Que.
Dozens of stolen vehicles, equipment recovered during warranted searches of Camrose-area properties: police
Some 100 stolen vehicles and pieces of equipment were found when Alberta police searched more than a dozen rural properties south of Edmonton in late November.
Outdoor rinks and spaces for concerts and events are under construction next to Rogers Place, the Oilers Entertainment Group announced on Friday.
For the second time this week, police are investigating the death of a man who resided in encampments around Edmonton.
On Friday afternoon at the Sudbury Courthouse, two men pled guilty in an arson case that killed three people in a townhouse on Bruce Avenue in April 2021.
An officer with the Greater Sudbury Police Service, who kept up her attacks on Canada’s vaccine rules months after she was forced to leave an arena in Espanola in September 2021, can keep her job, a disciplinary hearing ruled last month.
A Toronto-based mining company has been fined $300,000 for a workplace fatality that took place last year at Hemlo Mine near Marathon, Ont.
The London Fire Department is reminding apartment dwellers to keep their doors shut to help prevent the spread of fire, and to have an escape plan in place for when one does take place.
Middlesex County OPP say one person has died after a crash involving transport truck and an SUV.
Lighting of the Lights planned for Friday evening in Victoria Park as fire crews have deemed the area impacted by the natural gas leak downtown now safe.
The arrest of a man accused of killing four women, all believed to be Indigenous, shows vulnerable women and girls are subject to the dangerous outcomes if governments don't work together to end gender and race-based violence, Indigenous advocates say.
Residents in parts of southern Manitoba are advised to watch out for blowing snow and hazardous driving conditions throughout the day on Friday.
Manitoba RCMP and Winnipeg Police Service are teaming up to step up enforcement to catch impaired drivers on roadways.
Ottawa police say there was no threat to students of the public, following an investigation into "threats to a learning institution" in Ottawa's east end.
Ottawa police report 'surge' in vehicle thefts from malls, grocery stores and recreation centre parking lots
Ottawa police are urging motorists to be vigilant while parking at shopping malls, grocery stores, and recreation and sporting venues this holiday season, following an increase in daylight vehicle thefts.
In its weekly "Respiratory Virus Snapshot, OPH says the wastewater viral signals show "moderate" levels of RSV and COVID-19, while the influenza levels are "high".
A man died Thursday morning in Saskatoon following a shooting, according to police.
The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced legislation to suspend social assistance benefits to prolific violent offenders with active warrants, and to use information from the Ministry of Social Services to find those evading the law.
Part of a southern Saskatchewan highway remains closed one day after a fiery train derailment.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported 369 people in hospital with COVID-19 in the province on Friday, up roughly 11 per cent from the previous week.
Ahead of the 12 days of Christmas, 12 senior cats who were turned in at the BC SPCA in April have all found their forever homes.
A man in West Kelowna is recovering from minor injuries after being found in the back of a garbage truck, where police say he may have cycled through the compactor twice.
The Regina Police Service (RPS) is asking the public for information or video that could assist in the investigation into a building explosion in the north central area on Nov. 13.
Part of a southern Saskatchewan highway remains closed one day after a fiery train derailment.
'Part of him with me': Sask. man fixing up grandpa's classic truck after finding it for sale on social media
A 24-year-old man from Preeceville, Sask. was reunited with his grandfather's classic, custom-made Ford truck after finding it on social media and plans to restore it to its former glory.
Heavy snowfalls and high winds are once again in the forecast for much of Vancouver Island as Environment Canada issued a new round of weather warnings Friday. The weather office says up to 15 centimetres of wet snow could accumulate on much of the island.