Saint John — When Kennebecasis resident Bernadette Hoffer felt hungry on the afternoon of Feb. 13, she turned to the one source she assumed could always be counted on. Unfortunately, Greco Pizza customers were informed that deliveries weren’t possible do to “road conditions.”
“I was shocked,” said Hoffer.
During the course of the blizzard, police, fire and ambulance services were limited but still operational. With Greco orders being detoured, emergency dispatch operators began receiving pleas for garlic fingers, party pizzas and two-litre bottles of pop.
“We were told to ‘express our sympathies’ but ‘advise customers to keep trying the normal channels,’” said Emmanuelle Saulnier, who ended up working overtime as a dispatcher on Feb. 13.
“I felt utterly helpless… they were clearly suffering.”
The increased call traffic lead to Mayor Don Darling declaring a state of emergency.
In a press conference on Feb. 14, Darling announced his intentions to ask the RCMP to lead an inquiry into what role municipal policy may have played in the incident.
“It is essential that the inquiry be free of bias, therefore I have asked for guidance from outside of the city.”
Some claim that the incident is evidence that pizza services should no longer be privatized. Darren Faucet of the New Brunswick Union of Public Servants argues that the current model is a violation of human rights.
“Ambulance and fire used to be run by competing companies as well,” he said. “I think February 13th shows what happens when we place our rights in the hands of for-profit entities.”
In an email to The Manatee, a Greco Pizza spokesperson apologized for the “inconvenience” caused by the closure.
“We would also like to point out that the restaurants were open for pick-up.”
Darren Faucet found their explanation to be insufficient.
“What the fuck is ‘pick-up’?”