Nova Scotia

White Juan damage funding comes 10 years later

The federal government has decided how much money it will give Nova Scotia a decade after a massive winter storm shut down Halifax for days.

Storm paralyzed Nova Scotia and forced a state of emergency

The blizzard of Feb. 18-19, 2004 — nicknamed "White Juan" — dumped 50 to 70 cm of snow on Nova Scotia, paralyzing the province and forcing a state of emergency to be declared. (CBC)

The federal government has decided how much money it will give Nova Scotia a decade after a massive winter storm shut down Halifax for days.

A mere five months after the devastation of Hurricane Juan in 2003 a massive snow storm — nicknamed “White Juan” — dumped 50 to 95 centimetres of snow on Nova Scotia, according to Environment Canada.

The storm paralyzed the province and forced a state of emergency to be declared.

Visibility dropped to near zero as heavy snow was whipped by winds of 60 to 80 km/h, gusting to 120 km/h in some areas.

The storm also pounded Prince Edward Island and southeast New Brunswick.

In Nova Scotia it took weeks to clear the record amounts of snow received Feb 18-19, 2004.

The Halifax Regional Municipality submitted bills to the federal government totalling $19.9 million after the two storms and had still been waiting for nearly $6 million.​

On Friday, Nova Scotia MP and Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced the province will receive $3.6 million under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program.

“White Juan is part of Nova Scotia’s history. This significant weather event happened just a few months after Hurricane Juan, so the impact of the storm was that much greater for everyone affected," he said.

"Our government is committed to helping communities in need, through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements. As a proud Nova Scotian, I am pleased that we are assisting the province recoup some of the costs that resulted from White Juan.”

The DFAA fund is designed to kick in, in cases where recovery costs for disasters such as storms exceeds what a provincial government can reasonably be expected to afford.

The federal government does not give direct financial support to individuals or businesses, it all goes through the provincial and territorial governments.

The money helps cover the costs for evacuations, emergency shelters and infrastructure but is also meant to trickle down to individuals. The money only flows if the federal government gets a request for reimbursement from the affected province.

The request can be made when eligible expenditures exceed $1 per capita. There is a cost-sharing formula that kicks in to determine how much the federal government pays and eligible expenses can include the replacement of personal property and repairs to a home.

Since the program was created in 1970, the federal government has paid out more than $2.6 billion.


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