Nova Scotia Journal

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Antigonish program supports those who cannot afford to keep their houses warm

Nova Scotia

Key takeaways: 

  • Antigonish Emergency Fuel Fund started in 2008 when the global economic problem forced a climb in fuel prices.
  • The Antigonish Emergency Fuel Fund contributes funding to individuals stumbling to keep their residences warm.

The Antigonish Emergency Fuel Fund: 

Strong growth in fuel cost is striking Nova Scotians whose houses are kept warm with furnace oil particularly hard this winter, with no end in sight.

In Antigonish, the chair of a house heating fund for low-income earners states the ballooning price of fuel is the primary source of tension for his customers.

“There are all sorts of factors going into this,” said Michael MacDonald of the Antigonish Emergency Fuel Fund. “Some of which have to do with the present chaos in Europe, but some of which forewent it all together. You know, the COVID hit is still significant.”

The fund was started in 2008 when the international financial situation forced fuel prices.

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Funds will be provided for those cannot bear the expenses to keep their house warm

It provides emergency funding to approximately 200 families in Antigonish and the surrounding county between January and April, where home heating fuel (diesel) trades for $1.92 per liter. 

Those 200 houses, MacDonald figures, makeup around 20 percent of the population in the region.

“We’ve got two or three trailer parks in Antigonish and a bunch of them with older units that are heated by oil-fired furnaces. He stated that they manage to be not very good in terms of thermal insulation,” he stated.

Numerous reasons why people struggle

The budget also allows cover heating expenses related to electricity and wood. During the previous 14 years, MacDonald said he’d learned multiple reasons why several people struggle to heat their houses. 

In some possibilities, it’s a shocking health problem. MacDonald said he approved $3,000 for two points, including a senior with cancer who only finished two rounds of chemotherapy.

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