Blacks Harbour residents fed up with power outages

The village of Blacks Harbour is calling for a special meeting with the president of the NB Power, saying the community is experiencing an unusually high number of power outages this winter.

Some residents says that even as rates are going up, the quality of their service is going down

Village wants explanation for power problems 1:42

The village of Blacks Harbour is calling for a special meeting with the president of the NB Power, saying the community is experiencing an unusually high number of power outages this winter. 

Heather Chase, the village's chief administrative officer, says Mayor Terry James has received so many calls with complaints she wants a face-to-face meeting with the head of the utility.

Patricia Merrill of Blacks Harbour says she's fed up with blackouts and brownouts in the village. (CBC)
"She just wanted to explain the situation and some of the concerns that have been expressed to her and get further
information from NB Power on the issue," said Chase.

Like many in Blacks Harbour Patricia Merrill relies on electricity for heat, but this winter she says her trust has been shaken.

"I've actually had to go stay elsewhere with relatives, or whoever … to stay warm and to keep fed," said Merrill.

Many in Blacks Harbour say they can't remember a time when power was so finicky, and some are noting the fact that rates are going up, while they say their service is going down. 

John Craig, owner of the local grocery store, says he can't remember a time in the past 30 years when the power was this unreliable and he says it's costing him money.

Grocery store owner John Craig says the power supply in Blacks Harbour hasn't been this unreliable in 30 years. (CBC)
"The last couple of years it just seems to be every time the wind blows, or everytime you get a small storm, the power goes out and it goes out for three to four hours at a time. That's almost a half day in the business today," says Craig.

The Blacks Harbour black-outs are on the radar for Gaetan Thomas, president and chief executive officer of NB Power, and he says he's looking into it.

"We obviously want to treat every area of the province the same way. Reliability is our focus and we'll work with them," says Thomas.

The village has a meeting with NB Power on Friday.


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