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$300M recovery package announced for Atlantic Canada in wake of Fiona

Tuesday, October 4th 2022, 5:23 pm - More than 20,000 Nova Scotians still without power, Premier Tim Houston says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a $300 million recovery fund for Atlantic Canadians struggling with the damage caused by post-tropical storm Fiona.

Trudeau made the announcement in Halifax today. He said the funding would be distributed over two years to help people immediately affected by the storm, and would also support long-term recovery efforts.

SEE ALSO: Nearly 27,000 still without power across Maritimes 11 days after Fiona

"This fund will be here for anyone who is not covered by any other programs," Trudeau said.

"We are there to help people rebuild from Fiona, whether it be federal infrastructures, whether it be community infrastructure, whether it be people who are facing challenges from uninsured structural damage in their homes. We are there to help out."

The minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Ginette Petitpas Taylor, said the federal government would make the money available as soon as possible to help Canadians facing crisis conditions.

10-01-ns-fiona-damage-drone-photos/Patrick Morrell/CBC A destroyed shed is shown in Barney’s River Station, N.S., on Oct. 1 in the wake of post-tropical storm Fiona. (Patrick Morrell/CBC)

The fund is to be managed by ACOA in concert with other federal departments and agencies, including Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada.

The federal government is also providing financial assistance to the provinces through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), which covers up to 90 per cent of eligible provincial expenses following a disaster.

WATCH: After 11 days some P.E.I. residents are still without power

The DFAA covers a wide range of expenses, including costs associated with evacuation, food, shelter and clothing, and repairs to roads, buildings and bridges. It also covers items like personal furnishings, appliances and some equipment.

"Our thoughts are with all Canadians dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona," Trudeau said in a media statement. "There is still much work to be done in the days and months ahead to clean up and rebuild, but I know Atlantic Canadians and Quebecers will continue to be there for each other, and so will the government of Canada."

communications-repair-in-nova-scotia/Robert Short/CBCBell crew and contractors repair communications lines in Whitney Pier, N.S., on Oct. 2. This corner of the community was without power or internet for six days in the wake of post-tropical storm Fiona. (Robert Short/CBC)

Many remain without power

Ten days after Fiona blew through Nova Scotia, there are still thousands of Nova Scotia Power customers waiting for electricity and some who have no idea when it will come back on.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said more than 20,000 residents are still without power in his province and many won't have their electricity restored until the weekend. Having additional troops for things like traffic control could free up electrical workers and get power restored faster, he said.

In total, 850 troops have been deployed in Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador, according to Defence Minister Anita Anand's office.

"We will continue to deploy the right number of personnel to accomplish the tasks … and we will be there for as long as it takes to get these critical tasks done," a department spokesperson said in a media statement.

The story, written by Peter Zimonjic, was originally published for CBC News on Oct. 4, 2022.

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