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Fiona: One week after N.S. premier asked for more troops, fewer boots on ground

One week after the Nova Scotia premier asked Ottawa for more soldiers to help clean up the mess caused by post-tropical storm Fiona, there are actually fewer troops on the ground than there were earlier this week.

Daniel Minden, press secretary to Defence Minister Anita Anand, said in an email there were about 550 members of the Canadian Armed Forces in Nova Scotia earlier this week, but that number has since dropped to 400.

On Sept. 29, Premier Tim Houston said the province needed 1,000 members of the military to help with moving trees, clearing debris and other chores.

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Minden confirmed that the federal government had received a recent letter from the Nova Scotia government requesting more troops.

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He says Ottawa will continue to deploy the “right number of personnel” to accomplish the tasks assigned by the province, but there was no mention of sending more soldiers.

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Houston’s office issued a statement today saying the premier was disappointed with Ottawa’s response.

“Had our request for more personnel been actioned, we could have been further along,” spokeswoman Catherine Klimek said in an emailed statement. “It’s disappointing that the federal government didn’t see it that way.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press