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Province's silence on Fiona review 'unforgivable,' Bevan-Baker says

In November, Premier Dennis King committed to a review — not a public inquiry — of the province's response to post-tropical storm Fiona. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC - image credit)
In November, Premier Dennis King committed to a review — not a public inquiry — of the province's response to post-tropical storm Fiona. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC - image credit)

Four months after post-tropical storm Fiona ravaged P.E.I. and left more than 80,000 homes and businesses without power, Opposition leader Peter Bevan-Baker is raising concerns about why the P.E.I. government still hasn't announced its plan to review the provincial response.

In the fall sitting of the legislature, the Green caucus tried — and failed — to compel government to call a public inquiry. At the time, Premier Dennis King said the province was still in cleanup mode, but he did commit to a review.

Bevan-Baker wants to know what's the holdup.

"There's absolutely a chance that we could go through another Fiona next year, perhaps something even worse," he said.

"And so that makes it absolutely unconscionable and just unforgivable that this government has not moved even to the point where they are telling us what they're going to do. And we are going to miss out on that window before the next hurricane season, almost certainly, because we've delayed it too long."

CBC requested a response from the premier's office, or the office of the minister of public safety, but did not hear back.

Last September, King said there were things the province learned from Fiona that will be used during the next storm.

"Will we commit to doing a full review of our response and our lead-up to it, to make sure we try to be better prepared next time, maybe faster positioned to react? I think absolutely," he said at the time.

But four months later there's no word on when a review might start, or what form it might take.

When post-tropical storm Dorian struck P.E.I. in September 2019, the Department of Public Safety issued a tender within two months for a review, which was completed by the following July — in time for the next hurricane season.

If that timeline is used for Fiona, it would already be behind schedule.