On July 2, 2014, Public Interest released a report for CUPE Local One, written by partner Katrina Miller and community engagement worker Neemarie Alam, that presented front-line workers’ reviews of Toronto Hydro’s response to the ice storm of 2013.
Integrating analyses of survey responses collected by Local One from over 200 workers, key informant interviews with various Toronto Hydro workers as well as a representative from Manitoba Hydro, and analyses of other utilities’ responses to similar disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, Public Interest’s report complemented Davies Consulting’s previously published review by reconstructing the events of the ice storm and providing recommendations and considerations for future emergencies from a front-line perspective.
The most pressing issues expressed by workers were the lack of a coherent emergency response plan and the breakdown in communication. Key considerations from Public Interest’s report informed motions adopted by the Executive Committee following their review of the City’s emergency response to the ice storm, including the need to “develop and implement emergency education awareness and preparedness communications for distribution to all Toronto Hydro customers.”
The report received excellent coverage in the Toronto Star and confirmed that our work has tangible results for the City of Toronto, its workers, and its citizens.