NDP says emergency telecommunications plan required in N.S.

NS NDP

The provincial NDP says the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian shows that an emergency telecommunications plan is required in Nova Scotia.

The party says in an email that many communities were cut off from internet and phone service post-storm as cell phone towers lacked sufficient back-up power to maintain the system.

The NDP says that legislation will be introduced today to require government and municipal emergency management teams to include a plan for continuous public telecommunications.

That could include the Emergency Management Office (EMO) maintaining communications systems at warming centres or fire stations to make sure the public has access.

"One of the major concerns I heard after Dorian was the frustration with the telecom companies for not providing information about service disruptions," said NDP Business Spokesperson Claudia Chender. "People experienced service outages and received no information about when full service would be restored. Nova Scotia Power is required to provide these kind of updates to the people; it should be the same for telecoms."

The bill would also require telecommunications companies to provide updates to EMO on the status of their services.