October 16, 2001
(Municipal and Provincial Affairs)


Minister addresses issues raised concerning relief 
for victims of Tropical Storm Gabrielle

Municipal and Provincial Affairs Minister Oliver Langdon, minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Organization (EMO), responded today to issues raised concerning relief for victims of Tropical Storm Gabrielle.

"At this time, the province has not received an official response from the federal government concerning the Disaster Assistance Program, however as a result of discussions with federal officials, we are confident that the response will be favourable," said Minister Langdon who has been advised that the federal processes may take a few more weeks. "In the meantime the province recognizes the importance of dealing with claims in a timely manner and is therefore proceeding with the expectation that federal cooperation will be forthcoming."

To date 1,741 application packages have been sent out however only 91 completed applications have been received. The deadline to submit a claim under the program is November 30, however applicants are encouraged to submit claims as soon as possible to expedite the process.

As indicated in a news release from Minister Langdon on October 10, the province has established a Disaster Assistance Committee that has engaged the services of claims adjusting firms to assist in evaluating property damages. Claims will be processed in accordance with Disaster Assistance Guidelines established by the federal government. Applicants are advised to provide detailed information of their total property loss and damage, with the understanding that compensation will be provided for items deemed essential in accordance with the general guidelines for submission of claims for disaster financial assistance.

Applicants who have incurred damages as a result of Tropical Storm Gabrielle, and who have already engaged an adjustor or contractor to assess property damages are advised to indicate so on their claim form and enclose the appropriate documentation. Those who have not engaged the services of an adjustor are encouraged to forward their application to EMO without this component. Once a claim has been received by EMO it will be assigned to an adjustor who will then contact the applicant. Claims will be considered on an individual basis. 

Applicants may submit their claims without signing an affidavit, and their claim will follow the established process. Compensation will not be awarded until the document is signed.

"The provincial government has taken this issue seriously from the beginning. We have endeavoured to inform the public, through issuing news releases, media interviews, advertising in the Telegram, providing the public with a telephone number for the Emergency Measures Organization, and contracting additional staff to handle requests for claims packages and information," said Minister Langdon. 

The public is advised to contact the Emergency Measures Organization at (709) 729-3703, for further information or to request a claims package.

Media contact: Lynn Hammond, Communications, (709) 729-4250.

2001 10 16                            4:20 p.m.

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