We all thought that last year was the one where Mother Nature got really upset at Canada. We had the floods out west threatening to drown Winnipeg on the heels of the Sageunay floods.

Perhaps we didn’t give enough attention to the Grand Old Lady and her powers. Well, most of southern Quebec experienced one facet of Cree bush life… no power. Unfortunaly most southerners were not prepared to deal with the lack of power.

Cree offices in southern Quebec and Ontario were hit. Newly appointed Cree Naskapi Act Commissioner Philip Awashish was stranded in Ottawa for two days. A tree and ice fell on the family car, a Ford Tempo. Alfred Loon had his power die at the beginning of nature’s onslaught. He has survived without power for eight days to date. All of the Montreal Grand Council staff were at one time or another without power. Many people were either refugees or took in the storm’s refugees.

In the Ottawa GCCQ offices, everyone except Bill Namagoose and Brian Craik had power. “If things had gotten worse, I was ready to build a teepee in my backyard,” said Namagoose.

Namagoose said Ottawa got more rain, 67 cm, compared to 43 cm in Montreal. He said he doesn’t like to kick somebody when they’re down, but the ice rainfall comparison, combined with the fact that Ottawa was less crippled by the storm, shows that while Hydro-Quebec can build dams that they aren’t energy managers.

Montreal’s Cree Health Board Offices were empty. Staffer Bob Imrie said it is hard for staff to get towork as the downtown core is a mess. Imrie and family joined the storm’s refugees heading to theHoliday Inn. Sadly, his money ran out before electricity was restored.

The Cree School Board at the time of printing had just started trying to locate all the students.