How would you de­fine a cri­sis, asks writer

The Compass - - OPINION -

There has been much de­bate re­gard­ing Ms. Dun­derdale’s as­ser­tion that the past week’s events have not reached the sta­tus of a cri­sis.

And, I’m never one to beat a dead horse, but one point has been over­looked in the de­bate. It’s not her use of the term cri­sis, or this case, lack of use, but rather her in­dif­fer­ence to the suf­fer­ing of “her peo­ple.”

On a pro­vin­cial level, we had ac­ces­si­ble roads, which is a point that could be de­bated by many ru­ral res­i­dents.

She also stated that med­i­cal and polic­ing ser­vices were op­er­a­tional and avail­able.

Once again, this point may be de­bated by some EMS work­ers who were un­able to reach their am­bu­lances due to road clo­sures.

But, I get her point. On the pro­vin­cial level, th­ese ser­vices were avail­able. But, is this what con­sti­tutes a cri­sis? Must we have a com­plete fail­ure of the sys­tem be­fore a cri­sis sit­u­a­tion can be de­clared?

I don’t know. Is it there any pub­lic pol­icy re­gard­ing the is­sue, or is it a ob­jec­tion­able de­ci­sion that must be made by those in power? I’m lean­ing to­wards the lat­ter. Al­though Ms. Dun­derdale is cor­rect in her as­ser­tion that vi­tal ser­vices were avail­able, what we, the peo­ple, needed was her ac­knowl­edge­ment of the in­di­vid­ual cri­sis sit­u­a­tions that were faced by many dur­ing the storm and the af­ter­math.

In a press con­fer­ence, she stated that this is not a cri­sis, it’s a dif­fi­cult time and many res­i­dents are un­com­fort­able and dis­pleased. This is where she lost me.

To blan­ket the peo­ple by say­ing they are un­com­fort­able was in­ex­cus­able to me. Yes, I was un­com­fort­able dur­ing the power out­age. I had two tod­dlers, a large home, and one wood stove.

It was un­com­fort­able sleep­ing in our garage around the fire. Eat­ing food pre­pared on the stove was not ideal for my lit­tle ones. But this was not the case for many. Oth­ers had no al­ter­na­tive heat source, and were forced to brave the el­e­ments and the im­pas­si­ble roads in the area to reach safety and warmth.

A lo­cal cou­ple has lost their home due to freez­ing pipes and the in­vad­ing freez­ing wa­ter that has de­stroyed their home. Se­nior cit­i­zens, some who are bed rid­den, had to be trans­ferred to a ho­tel late Satur­day night in the freez­ing tem­per­a­tures due to their com­plex not hav­ing any back up power.

I’m sure there are many sad sto­ries that I don’t know, but I do know they ex­ist. Do th­ese in­ci­dents con­sti­tute a pro­vin­cial cri­sis sit­u­a­tion? Maybe not. But what we needed from our pre­mier was ac­knowl­edge­ment of th­ese sit­u­a­tions.

Don’t give a press con­fer­ence and state you know the peo­ple of this prov­ince are un­com­fort­able. They are not un­com­fort­able, they are in a per­sonal cri­sis. Ac­knowl­edge that per­sonal cri­sis sit­u­a­tions ex­ist but then ex­plain, in less de­fen­sive terms, why those in­di­vid­ual sit­u­a­tions do not con­sti­tute a pro­vin­cial cri­sis.

The peo­ple de­serve ac­knowl­edge­ment for their suf­fer­ing, not a blan­ket state­ment that the prov­ince is merely in an un­com­fort­able sit­u­a­tion.

— Kim­ber­ley Skin­ner writes from Bryant’s Cove

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