FAPO to receive gift of truck from O'Leary's Buick GMC on Wednesday, August 14

James West of CanadaEast takes photograph of Dan Weston, FAPO Coordinator receiving the keys
to the new used truck from O'Leary representative while Fredericton City Councillor
David Kelly looks on. August 14, 2013
The Fredericton Anti-Poverty Organization (FAPO) announced today that it will receive a free used truck donated by Gerry O'Leary of O'Leary Buick GMC in Fredericton.

This it the truck that
Trius Truck Centre loaned
us for one month. Thanks to
Randy Wheaton for the
much appreciated help!
Dan Weston, FAPO Coordinator, says the non-profit organization will take ownership of the vehicle Wednesday, August 14 at 3:30 pm at the company's Hanwell Road dealership.

The donation from O'Leary Buick GMC in Fredericton comes nearly six weeks after FAPO lost its only vehicle in a traffic accident. No one was hurt in the July 3rd collision, but the organization's 1998 half ton was a complete "write off", said Weston, who co-founded the organization in 1983.

"The accident really put us in a bad spot," says Weston. "The insurance wasn't enough to buy a new vehicle and we couldn't afford to rent one either."

Weston says after 30 years working with the poor and needy in Fredericton it was one of the first times that FAPO had to ask the community for help.

Manager of O'Leary Buick GMC,
Dan Weston, FAPO Coordinator
and Fredericton City Councillor
David Kelly at the official
hand over of the truck keys.

After the organization went public it didn't take long for Fredericton City Councillor Dave Kelly to step up to the plate.

"We owe a lot to Dave Kelly," says Weston, who explains that the City Councillor immediately helped in the first few days by  organizing a temporary replacement truck from Randy Wheaton of Trius Truck Centre.

"Randy told us we could have the truck indefinitely but we knew it wasn't a permanent solution to our vehicle problem," says Weston.

"A truck is absolutely essential to our operations," says Weston. "We can't pick up and deliver donations, and we can't take waste to the landfill without a vehicle. We were really worried."

Weston says the group even considered doing crowd-funding and had received the professional assistance of  local filmmaker Kevin Matthews,  as well as Fredericton-based web-hosting company Smartypants, to launch a fundraising campaign called "Keep on Trucking".
Catherine Harrop of CBC TV
News interviews Dan Weston
FAPO Coordinator, at the
official hand over of the
truck keys.

"We were just about ready to hit the launch button on the crowd-funding website when Gerry O'Leary called and told us to stop worrying about the money because he had a used half-ton for us," Weston explained.

Weston says he was amazed by the support the organization has received from Councillor Kelly, Trius Truck Centre and O'Leary's Buick GMC.

"We have a lot of people to thank and we're very grateful for the help we received from everyone," says
Weston, "and that includes the media which helped us get our story out."

Thank You O'Leary Buick GMC in Fredericton!

Anti-Poverty Organization Asks Public For Help After Truck Demolished

The FAPO Truck sits in the yard of a local scrap yard
after the accident last Thursday.
The Fredericton Anti-Poverty Organization (FAPO) has found itself in the unusual position of asking for the public's help after its truck was totalled in a two vehicle collision last Thursday.

Dan Weston, FAPO Coordinator, said he and a volunteer were not injured when FAPO's 1998 Chevrolet half-ton truck was hit by an oncoming vehicle at the corner of Bishop Drive and Hanwell Road. "We're very fortunate that there were no serious injuries," said Weston, adding that the other driver has taken full responsibility for the accident.

But Weston says the collision has destroyed its only means of transportation and all the organization will get from insurance is $2000.

"We've never had to ask the public for help before. All we have is $2000. We can't afford a new vehicle. I'm very worried because without a truck we cannot carry on."

The non-profit organization, which marks its 30th year of operations this year, recycles donations from those who can afford to donate to those in need. It serves mainly low-income persons, students and the working poor, including new immigrants who are trying to set up households in the city. FAPO advocates on behalf of the poor and speaks frequently in the media about policies that impact low income persons. It is entirely independent and does not receive financial assistance from any funding agency, or the municipal, provincial or federal governments.

"We're hoping that someone can help us get a decent second-hand regular cab half-ton that will pass inspection and that won't cost a fortune in maintenance in the long term," Weston said. "Otherwise, I don't know what we're going to do because our entire recycling process relies on pick and delivery. Without a vehicle, that process has come to a screeching halt."

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For further information, please contact:

Dan Weston
Coordinator Fredericton Anti-Poverty Organization
506-458-9102 / 474-3476
email: fapo@antipoverty.com
web: www.AntiPoverty.com
Facebook /FAPO-Fredericton-Anti-Poverty-Organization

Sudbury Star: Lights Back on in NB Man's Home


TORONTO -- It looks like Neil Lemon won't have to use firewood to stay warm any longer.

The 57-year-old New Brunswick man has been heating his home with firewood and living without electricity for the last 13 years following a spat with NB Power over an unpaid bill.

But since his predicament became public late last week, Canadians have dug deep and donated several thousand dollars to pay Lemon's bill.

The Fredericton Anti-Poverty Organization, which is campaigning on Lemon's behalf, estimates Lemon's bill has ballooned to about $6,000. Lemon told a local paper he'd offered half of his $746 income to the utility toward the $850 he originally owed, but was told to pay the total.

He also said that NB Power informed him that his bill had grown to $3000.

"The bill will be bigger (than $3,000) since NB Power took down the power pole and electricity box outside his home," Dan Weston, the organization's founder, told QMI Agency. "Now, they'll have to erect a pole and reinstall the box."

Weston said someone in Ontario has donated $3000 and a local paper reported that a man in Edmonton had pledged $5000 towards Lemon's cause.

"Heat and electricity are a right and the profit motive should take a backseat to that," Weston says. "You can't have people freezing to death.

"In a way, he's lucky that he lives in the country and that he can heat his home with firewood," Weston said. "That would be much harder to do if you're living in a big city."

NB Power could not be reached for comment.

CBC: Good Samaritans help to restore man's electricity

New Brunswick man's power cut off in 1999 over billing dispute

Good Samaritan donations are coming in from across the country to help restore power for a New Brunswick man after 13 years.

Click here to read original article on CBC website

Neil Lemon hasn’t had electricity in his Lower Durham home since April 1999, when NB Power cut off service during a highly publicized dispute over an outstanding bill.

He’s been heating his bungalow with wood and lugging water every day for washing and cooking.

Lemon has tried to reconnect the power himself several times over the years and once even climbed a utility pole in protest.

Philip Healy, of Campbellford, Ont., recently read about Lemon’s situation and decided to help.

“I'm formerly from New Brunswick and that affected me as one New Brunswicker to another,” said Healy, who is originally from St. Stephen and attended the University of New Brunswick.

He said no person should be living without electricity in this day and age, particularly in this climate.

Lemon is 57 years old, which struck a chord with Healy, who is only a few years older.

“[Lemon] mentioned the lack of dignity of living without power at that age, and I can't believe that the situation has lasted for this long. That should not be allowed to happen.”

Healy said he’s not a rich man, but he's in a position to help Lemon, who’s on a fixed income, before retiring next year.

“There was something in the article saying that the situation wasn't resolved and couldn't be resolved and I thought 'Well damn it all, yes it can be resolved, $3,000 will resolve it, so here it is.'”

Orville Sinnott, 74, of Edmonton, has also offered a $5,000 donation.

Lemon could not be reached for comment on Thursday, but has estimated it will take $5,000 to pay off his bills before NB Power turns on the electricity.

NB Power has declined to discuss Lemon’s case, citing privacy reasons. But the corporation is willing to work with people in Lemon’s situation to see them get reconnected, officials said.

Disconnected customers must first request to be reconnected, then the corporation determines what criteria need to be met before power is restored.

Fredericton's Anti-Poverty Organization is collecting all donations for Lemon and will hand them over to NB Power.

Vancouver Sun: New Brunswick man without electricity for 13 years in bizarre power struggle

FREDERICTON — It's a dispute that no one wants to resolve.

It's been more than a decade since Neil Lemon climbed a hydro pole outside his Lower Durham, N.B., home in a desperate attempt to draw attention to his feud with NB Power — a dispute over an unpaid bill that led to his power being disconnected.

Nearly 13 years later, Lemon's small weather-beaten bungalow still has no electricity.

Click here to read original article in the Vancouver Sun

"They've just got no feelings whatsoever for what they've done and don't even try," Lemon said this week. "Over the simple thing of what happened here; it just boggles my mind how it could get this far for something as simple as that."

In 1999, Lemon's home was disconnected five times during the height of the dispute, but four of those times he reconnected the power himself.

The last time the stoppage was permanent.

At the time of the final disconnection, Lemon claimed he'd offered half of his $746 income to the utility toward the $850 he owed, but was told to pay the total amount.

"This is not the way to go through the last years of your life," Lemon said, "You've got no power and you die of old age and never had power because of something stupid — a mix-up in a bill."

Lemon said his life now consists of lugging several gallons of water for a flush, pets, washing and cooking every day. He has done that for 365 days a year since the plug was pulled.

Lemon, 57, heats his house with wood.

In the summer, having no refrigeration for his food, is another thing, he said.

"It's getting tougher each month that goes by, because my health is going downhill."

Lemon said he now has mobility problems connected to issues with his back, hips and knees.

Lemon's son, Nathan Woods, shares the home and a fixed income with his father.

He said living without basic services that other residents of the province take for granted is taking its toll on his dad.

"He's been more miserable and stuff," Woods said. "It's a shame it had to come to this over a few hundred dollars."

NB Power wants $3,000, which includes the cost of a pole, Woods said, before it will hook them back up to the grid, even though he and his father believe the amount is closer to $1,000. He said while it would be difficult to come up with that much money, they would be willing to pay it if it meant some sort of compromise could be reached.

Melissa Morton, manager of media relations for NB Power, said the corporation can't discuss individual customer information for privacy reasons.

But Morton said if Lemon wants to get in touch with NB Power, the company would be more than willing to discuss his situation.

NB Power's website states: Customers can avoid disconnection for nonpayment if all of the following are met: customers are in legitimate economic need, customers have contacted NB Power to discuss their account, and customers continue to make mutually-agreed upon payments on their outstanding balance.

Lemon, who looks frail and older than his age, said he doesn't know how much longer he can continue to live as he does.

"I haven't got much more fight left in me, really."

Lemon said he is tired and sick of being cold and not having running water.

If he had the latter, he said he would be able to wash clothes, shower and do anything whenever he wants.

"It's getting harder to get by every month out here for me. I've been trying to figure out some way to ease the stress but I haven't found one yet."

Lemon said he would like to find a way to get the issues between him and the power company resolved, even though his income is less than it was 13 years ago.
© Copyright (c) Fredericton Gleaner

Read more: http://new.canada.com/Brunswick+without+electricity+years+bizarre+power+struggle/6278124/story.html#ixzz1pZnB2zLp

Common Front Offers Alternative Budget Proposals for Alward Government

Information Session Wednesday Night, February 29, 2012 at The Meeting Place Church

Click here to download poster in PDF or Word format

(Fredericton, NB - February 28, 2012) The Common Front For Social Justice will hold a free public information session Wednesday, February 29, as part of a province wide tour to raise awareness of the upcoming 2012-2013 provincial budget.

The event will be held at The Meeting Place Church, 487 Brunswick Street, Fredericton from 7-8 pm. All are welcome.

Sister Aurea Cormier of the Common Front in Moncton will give a presentation that includes proposals for a fairer tax system and suggestions for increased revenue to provide adequate services for New Brunswickers.

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For further information, please contact:

Common Front for Social Justice

Fredericton Anti Poverty Organization
email: fapo@antipoverty.com