Canadian Forces to arrive Monday in New Brunswick
Thousands of New Brunswick households have been without power for days
Help is on the way for New Brunswick, which has for days battled tens of thousands of power outages across the province following an ice storm last Tuesday.
Sunday evening, the federal government issued a news release confirming that roughly 200 members of the Canadian Armed Forces would start helping in the northeast area of the province on Monday.
Troops travelled from CFB Gagetown by overnight bus to reach Caraquet, where their work will begin.
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"The Canadian Army will be deployed where the greatest needs exist in the worst-hit areas of the province," Premier Brian Gallant said at a news conference Sunday afternoon. "They will help us and support local authorities with the door-to-door efforts, debris clearance and distribution of water and other essentials."
As of 10 p.m. AT Sunday, there were almost 16,000 households in northeastern New Brunswick that had yet to see a return to power, and a total of 22,500 province-wide. However, that was just a fraction of the 133,000 households that were plunged into darkness on Thursday.
"The Canadian Armed Forces' support to the Province of New Brunswick's relief efforts highlights our commitment to the security of Canadians. Our personnel will provide additional support for New Brunswickers in need," Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in the release.
Premier Gallant said on Sunday that the province had not yet discussed with Ottawa what this assistance will cost or which level of government will pay for it, as the safety of New Brunswickers is the greatest concern.
"Those discussions will come in the weeks after we get out of this crisis, but at this moment we're not going to hesitate on any decision," he said. "We're not going to make any decision based on budgetary considerations when it comes to the safety of the people of the region."
With files from Gail Harding