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
Canada is not ready to expand medical assistance in dying for people with a mental disorder, leaving psychiatrists across the country 'incredibly concerned' about patients needing better access to care, including for addiction services, says a group representing the specialists across the country.
Four Indigenous women in Winnipeg are believed to be dead at the hands of an alleged serial killer.
Nine out of 10 Canadians believe there could be a recession in 2023, according to a new national survey, with four out of 10 calling it 'likely.'
What this week's big bank earnings say about the state of Canada's economy ahead of a possible recession
The Q4 2022 earnings reports from Canada's big banks are showing signs that the Canadian economy is slowing down ahead of a potential recession, with some signs of optimism.
A fiery train derailment closed a highway in southeast Saskatchewan on Thursday morning. A train derailed approximately two kilometres northwest of Macoun, Sask., forcing the closure of Highway 39 in both directions, RCMP said.
Turbines that once harnessed the powerful energy of Niagara Falls into a great source of electricity came to a halt years ago. But the secrets deep below the power station are coming to life once again. Visitors can now explore the former cathedral of power and a new tunnel that opens to a spectacular view of the falls.
WestJet has declined to provide compensation to passengers who were stuck in a sweltering airplane cabin in Jamaica earlier this month, claiming the flight was cancelled because of 'a security-related incident' outside the airline's control.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is scheduled to make an announcement alongside Minister of Energy Todd Smith Friday morning.
Some of the Alberta Sovereignty Act's former critics are now defending it, as questions about its constitutionality continue to swirl.
Of the 24 homicides in Calgary so far this year, six of them remain unsolved, leaving still-grieving family members desperate for answers.
The situation in Quebec's health-care system 'will continue to be difficult' in the coming weeks, Health Minister Christian Dube warned Thursday. He is calling on nurses to come and help out at busy Info-Santé 811 phone line, which received around 10,000 calls on Wednesday.
A new clinic in Montreal’s east end celebrated its inauguration on Thursday. It’s staffed entirely by nurse practitioners clocking in on voluntary overtime with hopes the centre will relieve stress on the system. When it’s fully up and running, the clinic should help to relieve pressures on nearby emergency rooms at the Santa Cabrini and Masionneuve-Rosemont hospitals. On Thursday, both had occupancy rates at around 150 per cent.
A western Quebec school board is warning parents of students at a Chelsea, Que. school that two pizzas delivered for a pizza lunch were contaminated with mouse feces.
Six people have died in encampments since the cold weather began, as the city and provincial governments prepare further shelter capacity.
Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists to extend his career-best point streak to 10 games, and Joel Eriksson Ek added a goal and assist, leading the Minnesota Wild to a 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
Four more Albertans have died from influenza, according to the latest data update from health officials bringing the total so far this season to 16. The 2021-22 flu season had a total of 14 deaths.
London fire crews are on scene of a structure fire at 172 Roberts Ave.
All of southern Ontario is covered by a special weather statement Friday morning.
London police have released a photo of a sexual assault suspect who allegedly inappropriately touched a woman on a city bus in September.
Four Indigenous women in Winnipeg are believed to be dead at the hands of an alleged serial killer.
Manitoba Health says a privacy breach that happened earlier this week following a break-in at a facility compromised some people’s personal health information.
Fallout from the damning Ottawa LRT public inquiry report continued on Thursday, with Premier Doug Ford saying the project "stunk to high heaven" and that senior city of Ottawa officials did a "terrible job."
The national security adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that senior officials are planning ahead for the possibility of another 'Freedom Convoy' protest in early 2023.
Four correctional officers were placed on leave after allegedly assaulting an inmate at Saskatchewan Penitentiary, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says.
A lawyer for a former truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash says he's cautiously optimistic that he will get the chance to argue against his client's possible deportation before Federal Court.
In the dark days of winter, one home in Nutana has been a guiding light.
A Metro Vancouver woman who garnered national attention earlier this year is doing so again, posthumously, in a "disturbing" viral video that has prompted fierce criticism of a Canadian department store.
'I believe I had checked well enough': Worker at B.C. group home where Cree teen found dead in closet testifies
A worker at the B.C. group home where Traevon Desjarlais was found dead in his closet days after he went missing told a coroner's inquest he checked the teen's room repeatedly – but there was no sign of him.
The murder trial of two inmates accused of killing a Vancouver Island man after escaping a minimum security federal prison took a sudden turn this week.
Scott Moe's target was the federal government Thursday as he gathered with supporters for the first in-person Saskatoon Premier's Dinner in three years.
Regina's Warehouse Brewing Company announced it will be permanently closing its doors.
British Columbia's police watchdog has found reasonable grounds for charges against three Vancouver Island RCMP officers involved in the shooting death of an Indigenous man last year.
Students at the University of Victoria are exploring and testing the perfect shape to break their next record in a unique sport. Their team consists of more than two dozen active members who design, build and race human-powered submarines.
Four men are facing dozens of charges after a years-long drug-trafficking investigation that police say disrupted the expansion of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang on Vancouver Island.