After spending days in the dark, most people probably feel a review of how Nova Scotia Power handled post-tropical storm Arthur should be a given. So it comes with some relief to hear that Premier Stephen McNeil announced just that on July 11.
And rightly so, considering that a key point in McNeil’s election campaign was the promise to stand up against NSP. Indeed, his party’s platform pledged, “We will break Nova Scotia Power’s monopoly and put Nova Scotia first.”
Throughout the last election, the Liberals repeatedly said enough was enough and promised to be a government that would stand up to NSP. Well, Premier, it’s time to do just that.
For the past week, we’ve all been hearing reports that simply break your heart. People who have had to throw out freezers full of ruined food, essentially filling compost bins with hundreds of dollars of their hard-earned money. People who have depended on the kindness of neighbours and family for a simple thing like a hot shower. People who have spent money they didn’t have on take out, just to get a hot meal. People who have watched their neighbourhoods light up while their own homes remained dark.
And don’t forget the frustration, either. To add insult to injury, people were being told their power was fixed when, in fact, it wasn’t. People appreciate honesty, even if it’s bad news. To essentially lie to someone who is going through a terrible experience won’t be forgotten or forgiven easily.
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“I have three voicemails on my phone advising me that you have restored my power. I was shocked to hear this yet again because my lights still don’t work and the hot water is very, very cold,” the letter reads.
And with more than 2,000 people still without power as of July 11 – almost a full week after Arthur ripped through the Valley and across Nova Scotia – there are still those stuck in this situation, even as many of us have returned to our normal lives.
Perhaps if Nova Scotia Power hadn’t issued a press release the day before Arthur struck, proclaiming how prepared they were, people would not be quite so angry. It’s become very evident to us all through this experience that they truly weren’t prepared at all.
Our power rates are through the roof and we expect to get the service we’re paying for. We also expect to see the promise the Liberals made to us last fall followed through on. Look for that solution you promised us, Premier McNeil – the one that makes sense for Nova Scotians.