rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

What's behind the excuses for Nova Scotia Power's failed storm response?

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Photo: Walter A. Aue/flickr

So there were these trees, see. And, it being July, these trees had leaves. Leafy leaves. Wet leaves. And wind that blew the wet leaves, so some of those trees fell down.  

So -- this still being Nova Scotia -- there were power outages. Too many to count, or at least for Nova Scotia Power's computer system to keep track of. Your call is important to us.

After the storm -- as predictably as the weather is unpredictable -- we had NSP's if-you-don't-buy-this-one-how-about-that-one? laundry list of lame excuses.

There was the weatherman. Forecasters got wind speeds wrong, making it tough for NSP to restore power for the up-to 245,000 of us whose lights went out, some for as long as a week. Doesn't make sense to you? You're not alone. Premier Stephen McNeil labelled that one "ridiculous."

Well then, how about those leafy leaves, 2014's version of 2006's salty fog? In NSP's version, those leaves were our fault. Of course. We like our leafy leaves so much we wouldn't let the nice linemen trim them, so they wouldn't mess with their power lines.

In its report last week to the Utility and Review Board, in fact, the power company singles out grumpy cottage owners, who "value their privacy and want as little clearing as deemed absolutely necessary" for creating the problems that led to the outages that led to the outrage.

Funny. I've owned a cottage for more than a decade and I can't recall the power company ever asking me if I'd mind a little nip and tuck to keep the branches out of the way. I wouldn't.

Once you get past NSP's all-purpose failure-to-communicate (ya think?) confusion and beyond its blame-the-customer bafflegab, here is what you won't find in the power company's 173-page "Post-Tropical Storm Arthur: Review of Nova Scotia Power's Storm Response…"

There is no questioning -- no even mentioning -- decades of boardroom decisions to keep cutting back front-line service workers while exponentially increasing pay packages for front-office executives, whose bonuses are at least partly a corporate thank-you for their shareholder-pleasing service cuts.

Bottom line: don't put your faith in this company to fix what ails it.

Photo: Walter A. Aue/flickr

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.