No power at Passover
Michael McHugh got a call from Hydro Quebec announcing a planned power outage for maintenance to the network.
That maintenance period, was right during his family’s Passover dinner on March 25th.
“There are several large meals in every Jewish home which demand much preparation in the kitchen,” said Rabbi Ruben Poupko.
It would have been a huge burden to do everything that is required without electricity.
When McHugh, a Ville St-Laurent resident, called Hydro, they refused to help him and change the date.
McHugh noted that many of his neighbours are also Jewish and would likely be celebrating at the same time as him.
He says calls to Hydro led no where, so he called his Rabbi. That’s when more people called to complain.
“I’m surprised they aren’t aware of the Jewish high holiday,” McHugh said.
Hydro told McHugh the work was cancelled, mysteriously, saving his Passover celebrations.
“Anybody can make a mistake, and anyone can be unaware of this [celebration],” he said. “I think it’s this unwillingness to budge, that’s the frustrating part.”
When CJAD called Hydro Quebec for comment, they investigated and said the work was cancelled because the contractor didn’t have sufficient resources to execute the required maintenance, according to Jean-Philippe Rousseau with the utility. It had nothing to do with the complaints.
He went further and said that Hydro plans work around the calendar from the Normes du Travail.
Passover is not on that calendar.
CJAD tried to contact the Quebec Labour Minister for comment, and to see if Passover could be added to the calendar given the large Jewish community in Quebec.
The message was not returned when this article was published.