New Brunswick

'We're not getting very nice comments': Frustrations mount in Kent County

As some people enter their second week without electricity, NB Power lineman Shane Avery has a few words for those who are growing impatient: "We're doing the best we can."

NB Power lineman says yelling at crews won't get electricity restored any sooner

NB Power lineman Shane Avery says yelling at crews working to restore electricity won't get the power back on any sooner. (Jill English/CBC)

As some people enter their second week without electricity because of the ice storm, frustrations are mounting in Kent County.

NB Power lineman Shane Avery can hear it sometimes during his 14-hour days working to restore power to areas where ice brought down power lines and poles. 

"We're not getting very nice comments from people driving by," said Avery, who was in the Bass River area Tuesday. 

Linesmen Abuse

5 years ago
Duration 0:36
NB Power linesmen are bearing the brunt of some of the frustration residents feel with the long power outages following last week's ice storm. 0:36
About 13,000 homes and businesses in New Brunswick were without power Tuesday afternoon. Almost 1,200 of those were in Kent County.

"It'll be on as soon as we can get it on," Avery said. "Stopping by and yelling and putting us down doesn't make it faster or doesn't make it any easier, for sure.

"We're doing the best we can."

At the end of a long day, when line crews go to a restaurant to eat, they have noticed resentment.

"After you work 14 hours and finally sit down for a meal, and people are in there — and they have no power and that's why they're in there — they look at you like, 'You're sitting down here while I've got no power,'" said Avery. "We're doing the best we can."

Attention lacking

Activist Ann Polh decided she wanted to clear her name by having a lawsuit filed against her heard in court. “If you want to take me to court and have it out, then take me to court and have it out. If you aren’t prepared to do that, then drop the charges.” The company issued a letter of discontinuance, to Pohl's relief. (Jill English/CBC)
Ann Pohl, 66, is one of the frustrated residents in the Bass River area. She has no complaints about the efforts of NB Power, but she doesn't feel the Kent County area is getting enough attention.

"Everything is up on the Acadian peninsula, which is because they have mayors to speak for them and we don't have anyone to speak for us," said Pohl.

All the resources are going to the places that make the most noise.- Ann Pohl, Kent County resident

"The person who should be speaking for us really in these local service districts in our rural areas is the minister of local [government]," she said.

"All the resources are going to the places that make the most noise, and they make that noise because they have politicians that speak for them.

"We just are not on the map."

Pohl would like to see Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle visit Kent County, which she said accounts for 10 per cent of the remaining outages in the province.

Pohl's beef is not with the people of the Acadian Peninsula, she said.

"God bless them," she said. "I'm happy for them. I know it's terrible for them up there.

"It's not an us-versus-them thing. This is a thing the government has to pay attention to and I don't know why he isn't doing that. I don't know why he doesn't care."

With files from Jill English