Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ten Years Later, Canadians Remember the Northeast Blackout

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ten Years Later, Canadians Remember the Northeast Blackout

Article excerpt

Canadians remember the Northeast blackout


TORONTO - It's been 10 years since a massive blackout plunged Ontario and parts of the United States into darkness. Most people remember exactly where they were when the electricity went out on Aug. 14, 2003. Here's how some Canadians remember that day:


Bob Chiarelli, then Ottawa mayor.

"I was at a meeting in suburban Kanata and so the first thing obviously was that the power went out, so I called our city manager on my cell phone and found out that it was city wide and beyond.

One of the strangest things that happened during that event was that night after dark, I was asked to do a national interview on CTV and the interview desk had behind it a large window that showed the Parliament Buildings and the Ottawa River and Quebec in the background.

I was on live television with the whole province in the dark and behind me out the window was the city of Gatineau... which is in Quebec, and it was lit up like a Christmas tree."


Ernie Eves, then Ontario premier.

"I was in Caledon ... for my riding association meeting. I had just gotten to the house and the power went out. And with all due respect, a cut to power in Caledon, that isn't too unusual.

Then I was talking to Isabel, my spouse, who was supposed to be on her way up and she said the power was out all over.

I immediately got on the phone and away we went. The next thing I knew I was being whisked downtown in an OPP helicopter from the OPP station in Caledon East, and we landed at Jarvis Collegiate (in Toronto) and set up a command centre immediately."


John Baird, then Ontario energy minister.

"I was in Leamington, Ont. and I just happened to be at someone's home who had a backup generator. Then we turned on the TV ... and it showed that the blackout was including Michigan as well -- so I realized there was something that was far obviously bigger than just Ontario. …

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