Dunderdale emails record anger, frustration, questions about power outages

James McLeod
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If then-premier Kathy Dunderdale was checking her email during the first week of January, she had a good idea of how people were feeling about the ongoing electricity crisis in the province.

Kathy Dunderdale

Dunderdale received 46 emails on the ongoing power disruptions between Jan. 1-8; some of them were people asking questions, a handful were from people offering words of support, but the overwhelming majority of the emails record a sense of frustration, and raw anger at Dunderdale and her top staffers.

“We had been without power 32 hours only to end up with frozen pipes and sewer backup in our basement,” one person wrote. “Have some respect for the people of your province. Toughness does not impress anyone unless they too are bullies. Drop the saucy attitude and reach out to people who voted you in power and allowed you to live in comfort.”

Many of the people fixated on Dunderdale’s statement that the rolling blackouts and ongoing power disruptions did not constitute a crisis.

“When a city and province can’t provide power for itself in the frigid winter that IS a crisis,” another citizen wrote. “To ignore that or try to minimize the problem and score political points for Muskrat Falls is pathetic and shows a total lack of leadership.”

The Telegram submitted an access to information request in early February for, “all emails sent or received by Premier Kathy Dunderdale” for the one-week period between Jan. 1-8. The newspaper also requested “all briefing materials prepared for and/or provided to Premier Kathy Dunderdale regarding electrical disruptions for the same period of time.”

In early January, equipment failures at the Holyrood generating station and two other smaller power plants, combined with heightened demand for electricity, forced the electrical utilities of the province to begin rotating blackouts.

A transformer fire at a critical power station in Sunnyside, and other equipment failures, widened the blackouts, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in the dark.

The premier’s office responded to the access to information request on Monday. They provided 46 emails sent to Dunderdale.

However, the response included zero emails sent by Dunderdale, which seems to indicate that she did not send a single email regarding the electrical disruptions during that one-week period.

The written access to information response also said that absolutely no written briefing materials were prepared for or provided to Dunderdale during that one-week period.

The Telegram has requested comment from the premier’s office on this point; we will provide an update when we receive a response from the premier’s office.

The Telegram will have more details about the contents of the 46 emails in Tuesday’s paper.



Twitter: TelegramJames

Geographic location: Sunnyside

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Recent comments

  • Wayne
    March 04, 2014 - 06:00

    Let the woman retire with a bit of grace. She was not perfect but most politicians are not. Let it go. Really who wants to know or is this a ply to keep the public upset as to vote for Mr. Ball.

  • Thomas
    March 03, 2014 - 22:19

    She never sent emails? Haha, anyone who thinks that is lying to themselves. They set up Hotmail accounts that are not part of the ATIIP and never use the @gov.nl.ca account for the read stuff. The government is ridiculous!

  • Ben
    March 03, 2014 - 19:15

    46 emails in 7 days!! I get more than that in the run of a day about vertually nothing!And this is news? Time for this reporter to go back to Ontario, try covering your wonderful mayor in Toronto.

  • EDfromRED
    March 03, 2014 - 15:08

    You should have requested all the Emails from her Bosses at NALCOR, who told her what to say.

  • Duggan
    March 03, 2014 - 14:46

    It would be interesting to read emails sent to and responses by the Natural Resources minister.

  • Yes B'y
    March 03, 2014 - 14:21

    Dunderdale is gone ....now...go back to Toronto McLeod!

  • Thomas
    March 03, 2014 - 14:16

    Not very tasteful Mr. Telegram. She has left so leave it alone. I believe she had a right to give everyone the proverbial middle finger before she left last week.

    • joebennett
      March 03, 2014 - 18:21

      Thomas - You must be a Tory or work on the 8th. floor. It seems to me that everytime a PC has a chance to knock Joey Smallwood about lost revenue in the Upper Churchill he or she jumps at it. At the same time, you say we cannot say anything about Ms Dunderdale who will put this province on the hook for about 10 billion dollars for a project that is certainly not needed. Wait till you get your first power bill when MF is completed. See you at the mall to keep warm.

    • Happily Retired
      March 04, 2014 - 07:44

      Joe, Using the same logic, you must be a Liberal working on the 7th floor. Name calling solves nothing. However, the Telegram, on one hand, whines constantly about ex-politicians(especially Danny Williams) remaining in the public eye. Remember the interview about his housing development, or Wangersky's rant on CBC the other night. On the other hand, it refuses to stop talking about them when they leave. You can't have it both ways. By the way, I agree with the Joey comment. It wasn't his fault. We got precious little help from Ottawa because they were so concerned with appeasing Quebec that they sold us out.

  • Blame them!
    March 03, 2014 - 13:48

    Rolling blackouts also heightened demand, and in case you haven't heard James, this lady is retired. Let's move forward, lest the telegram blame you when you leave. Read all about it! Reporter caught in the past, rootin thru email trash. Sullivan gets a boost to midwifery on tail end of 17 yr plan; Dalley revives augury. A competent magic 8 Ball would refuse to ok Muskrat Falls!