Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the media in Halifax on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (CBC)

Trudeau arrives in Halifax to survey Hurricane Dorian damage

Share

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Halifax Tuesday morning to take stock of the devastation brought by Hurricane Dorian as it barreled through Atlantic Canada over the weekend, bringing heavy rains and strong winds that uprooted trees and knocked down power to hundreds of thousands people.

Three days after Dorian made landfall near Halifax, tens of thousands of homes and businesses are still without power.

Trudeau was greeted by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. The two federal ministers are in Nova Scotia to coordinate the federal response to Dorian.

Two fallen trees rest on neighbouring houses in Halifax on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (Andrew Vaughan/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Trudeau said he has been following closely the recovery efforts in Nova Scotia and in other Atlantic provinces that bore the brunt of Dorian’s fury and has been in close contact with provincial premiers and mayors of the affected communities.

“I’m here today to thank the first responders and all the people who’ve been working very hard on something that has been an ongoing effort over the past few days,” Trudeau told reporters in Halifax. “I know that crews have been working around the clock to restore power throughout Nova Scotia and there is a lot more work to do and the federal government is here to support in any way we can.”

‘We’re all in this together’

Members of the 4 Engineer Support Regiment from Canadian Forces Base Gagetown move a slab of sidewalk as they assist in the cleanup in Halifax on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. Hurricane Dorian brought wind, rain and heavy seas that knocked out power across the region. (Andrew Vaughan/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The federal government has deployed hundreds of troops to help provincial and local authorities with clean up and restoring power to over 105,000 Nova Scotia residents who were still without electricity on Tuesday morning.

In Prince Edward Island, 18,000 customers were without power, and in New Brunswick, the number was 2,600.

“This is serious, we’re taking this very seriously,” Goodale told reporters Tuesday. “We’re all in this together. When there is trouble afflicting any part of Canada, we have each other’s backs and we respond in a strong and collective way.”

Goodale said the government was very grateful that there have been no reported fatalities or serious injuries in Canada as a result of Dorian.

‘Herculean effort’

Crews clear downed trees and restore power lines in Halifax on Monday, Sept. 9 in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. (CBC)

Goodale also thanked first responders and “amazing local teams,” members of the Canadian Armed Forces, technical crews from other provinces and from the United States, who have been working around the clock to restore power and communications and clean up streets.

“This is a Herculean effort across municipalities, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), local police and fire departments, transportation, public works, parks crews, volunteers, health agencies and many more,” Goodale said.

Since Sunday morning, nearly 350 military personnel from Atlantic Canada have been deployed to various places in Nova Scotia to help restore electricity, clear roadways, evacuate residents from flooded areas, Goodale said.

The Canadian Coast Guard has also been deployed to help ferry personnel and equipment, as well as to assess damage to local infrastructure, Goodale added.

More than a dozen other federal departments are also involved in assisting with recovery efforts, he said.

“Emergency crews are making good progress but to be clear we’re still in the early days of this response,” Goodale said. “Downed trees and power lines, multiple road closures and washouts are still a very real concern. So is cell service as we heard loud and clear from a number of people in the course of today.”

Goodale urged Canadians who have encountered faulty or deficient telephone service to complain to the federal telecommunications watchdog, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Federal funding for reconstruction and mitigation

Utility crews work to restore downed power lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in Halifax on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. (CBC)

Provincial authorities have taken the lead in the recovery efforts but the federal government is ready to respond to all their requests for assistance, Goodale added.

Following the initial recovery period, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and New Brunswick, which have been hit the hardest by Dorian, will also have access to two federal funding programs to help them deal with the reconstruction and risk mitigation, Goodale said.

Under the Disaster Assistance Financial Arrangement (DAFA), provinces and the federal government share costs of reconstruction with a cost-sharing formula that sees the federal share of assistance funding growing the higher the loss suffered by the province, Goodale said.

Provinces also have access to the $2-billion federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) to build more resilient infrastructure to deal with the consequences of climate change and more severe weather, he said.

“Hurricanes, storms, floods, droughts, wildfires: all of that are accelerating across Canada and the DMAF, as it’s called, is an effort by the government of Canada to work with provinces to build more resilient types of infrastructure,” Goodale said.

The DMAF program has so far invested over $109 million across Atlantic Canada, he said.

“But it’s the type of program that we are going to have to renew and strengthen and build upon for the future because the consequences of climate change are growing more and more significant and costly,” Goodale said. “And it makes a lot more sense to invest in the infrastructure upfront to head off the problem, rather than just cleaning up the mess after it has happened.”

With files from CBC News

Share
Categories: Environment, Society
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette
When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*