N.L. promises help for people denied insurance claims for Fiona damage
Fiona passed over Atlantic Canada just over a week ago, causing massive damage
As the cleanup of the damage done by post-tropical storm Fiona continues on Newfoundland's southwest coast, the region's MHA says many residents are frustrated by the rejection of their insurance claims.
Burgeo-La Poile MHA Andrew Parsons — also the minister of industry, energy and technology — says the provincial government is ready to help wherever it can.
"The general consensus seems to be, in most cases, there will not be coverage," Parsons said at a news conference Tuesday.
"I think we've managed to take care of the immediate concern, which is, you know, we're telling people that we're going to be there for you. The insurance part, we will figure out."
Parsons said Digital Government and Service N.L. Minister Sarah Stoodley will be meeting with insurance companies to discuss the impacts of the storm.
The provincial government announced a $30-million immediate relief package last week for residents affected by the storm. The package includes a guaranteed $10,000 for any household that is unable to return to their home following the storm.
Watch Tuesday's update here:
More than 800 households — more than 1,000 people — have registered with the Canadian Red Cross to receive support, according to Furey. A total of 260 dwellings were damaged by the storm, and structural assessments to see which homes are safe to return to will be completed by the end of Tuesday, he said.
Furey wouldn't say if there's a limit to how much a person can claim or if the package sets a precedent for future disasters.
"My primary concern is that there are people without homes. That's my concern," he said.
Meanwhile, speaking from Nova Scotia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday morning the federal government is spending $300 million to assist all four Atlantic provinces in cleaning up and rebuilding infrastructure.
Furey said cleanup efforts are continuing and the provincial government has spoken with the Canadian military about staying longer. Debris along the coast could present challenges, he said, and the military could help with the cleanup.
Furey said the amount of available housing in the region will be a key concern for the government. There are 48 households staying in hotel rooms in the region, he said, which can't be a permanent solution.
The Canadian Red Cross has also set up a new location for an emergency shelter for those displaced from their homes in the Channel-Port aux Basques area. The shelter opened Monday night at the St. James Anglican Church Hall.