Premier needs to ensure Nova Scotia Power crews aren’t short staffed

July 9, 2014

(Shelburne, NS) NDP MLA Sterling Belliveau says the Premier needs to ensure Nova Scotia Power (NSP) has a full complement of line workers to deal with situations like post-tropical storm Arthur. He says reports the company has lost 21 line workers in the past year should be a greater concern for the Liberal government.
Belliveau was responding to comments made by Stephen McNeil in today’s Chronicle Herald. He says while he shares the Premier’s frustration over poor communications by NSP, he thinks the Premier’s top priority should be calling on Nova Scotia Power to have enough staff to get the power back on in a timely manner.

Tami Turner, a resident of Molega Lake North in Queens County, says if damage isn’t repaired soon it could become a safety issue.

“The coordinated response from Nova Scotia Power has been very poor in our area. Not only have we been without electricity for almost five days, there are still exposed lines down on people’s properties. If NSP doesn’t fix these problems quickly they could become a fire hazard. People are calling NS Power and their response and the information they have relayed about our area is not accurate. We still have no power in spite of NSP saying we do have power in our area,” said Turner.

Belliveau says Ms. Turner is just one of many concerned residents he has heard from in the past few days.

“We have a situation here where the line workers are saying they are short staffed due to Nova Scotia Power outsourcing and thousands of households have gone days without power, but the Premier is most concerned about the automated message system,” said Belliveau. “At this point, communications might be less of an issue if Nova Scotia Power crews weren’t short staffed.”

Belliveau said before Stephen McNeil became Premier he said he would ensure Nova Scotia had enough line workers and he would enforce performance standards. In fact, just 5 days before being sworn in as Premier Stephen McNeil was quoted as saying,Whether there is a few less administrators in that company won’t really matter to Nova Scotians, but it will matter if the linesmen aren’t there to deliver, to put the power back on.”

Once again Stephen McNeil and his Liberal government aren’t as advertised said Belliveau.

“This is just another example of Stephen McNeil not keeping his promises in relation to Nova Scotia Power,” said Belliveau. “Now that he’s Premier, the furthest thing from Stephen McNeil’s mind is ensuring Nova Scotia Power has enough linemen to put the power back on.”