With thousands of Cape Bretoners still without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, Northside-Westmount MLA Fred Tilley is calling for more comfort centres to open.
Areas stretching from Florence to Sydney Mines and Westmount are without these vital resource centres, meaning residents in the areas are struggling to find any way of getting to the next closest comfort centre to have a hot meal, take a shower or charge a phone.
Florence resident Lisa Bond is one of the many Cape Bretoners in the area who is ready and willing to volunteer at a comfort centre in her community – she’s just waiting for one to open up.
“Without power, people in my area have lost fridges and freezers full of food and don’t have the means to keep a generator going. They’re unable to work right now, and to even grab a hot tea or charge their phone, they have to drive well outside the community. For many residents, that’s just not feasible.
As Cape Bretoners, we’re the first to jump in when times get tough and I know we’re all waiting impatiently for a comfort centre to open in our area so we can step up and help,” says Bond. “We need them in the area immediately.”
In the wake of the hurricane, Nova Scotians across the province have been coming together to help people whose lives and homes have been devastated by the storm. Especially in Cape Breton where Fiona’s impact has been severe, the need for more facilities to be approved as comfort centres is critical.
“We have many facilities in the area that could easily be comfort centres. The Sydney Mines fire hall is a good example of that, and I know people in the community are at the ready to help serve at one of these centres,” says Tilley.
“These communities are a huge pocket of Cape Breton without a place for people to go to warm up or grab a meal, and that needs to change right away.”