PEI Greens and Liberals slam government response to Fiona

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The opposition Green Party of Prince Edward Island and the Liberal Party say the provincial government is still not addressing the shortcomings of its post-Fiona recovery efforts.

Greens say the government should carry out regular audits of government-owned seniors’ buildings, reimburse at least one month’s rent to seniors in public housing and allow a one-month deferral of similar provincial student loan payments deferral of other provincial loans.

Interim Liberal Leader Sonny Gallant calls the provincial government’s response to Fiona “heartbreaking” and “simply inadequate.”

Gallant said there was poor communication, inequitable support, little oversight of funds and, overall, a distinct lack of coordinated relief efforts.

“We have to help people a little more than what is being done,” he said.

“Everyone was struggling with the high costs of things before Fiona hit. It just added a little more.”

Gallant said he heard Islanders’ concerns in the aftermath of the storm. On Wednesday morning, for example, he said he spoke with an elderly person whose “pile was ripped out of his house.”

Everyone was struggling with the high cost of things before Fiona struck. It just added more.— Sonny Gallant

“It cost $900 to fix it, but his insurance doesn’t cover it because he has a $1,000 deductible.”

Now Gallant is asking the government to make the wage rebate program for affected workers retroactive to September 24 and provide $500 to all households that have been without power for more than five days.

The Greens are also calling on the government to extend the wage subsidy to support those who have lost their wages because childcare centers have been closed and for people working for off-island employers.

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