Today, almost a full year after Hurricane Fiona caused devastation across our province, Islanders learned that the largest utility in the province spent $36 million for their clean up services following the storm. Last fall, Premier King told Islanders not to worry – this bill would be covered but he did not have the details to make that promise.
He pointed to a federal program designed to help small businesses and failed to realize Maritime Electric is not a small business and would not qualify to recover cleanup costs. Maritime Electric is one of the province's largest employers and is owned by Fortis, a multinational corporation.
Has the Premier reviewed a breakdown of the $36 million claim Islanders will be on the hook for?
The lack of fiscal responsibility and oversight demonstrated by this government is alarming. First, Premier King failed to manage the hurricane response, the clean-up following the storm and has now failed to manage the clean-up costs.
Maritime Electric has made it clear that unless the Premier can pay these costs, Islanders will pay through rate increases of 2 to 3 per cent annually. Islanders should not have to foot a bill due to the Dennis King Government's habit of over-promising and under delivering while failing to fully understand the details. This is yet another example of a government acting on a whim without proper due diligence in place.
How did this government not do its job by reading a simple document before telling Islanders these costs were covered? There appears to be a trend within this current Government: say anything, do nothing, blame others.
I am calling on this Government to ensure Islanders do not pay for the Premier speaking too soon. Apologize for overpromising to Islanders yet again, and next time, read the whole document and program requirements before making a political announcement.
Official Opposition Office