While the worst natural disaster to hit the United States in recorded history unfolds, and the tragedies become known, one fact shouts to be recognized. I have yet to see our country’s leaders or citizens extend offers of help. With a shortage of drinkable water and no supply route, things are going to go from bad to worse. The time to act is yesterday.
I hate giving a lying Liberal credit, but where credit is due, it must be given. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has asked the American ambassador how we can aid and assist in this critical hour. This is a wonderful show of compassion. Provincial NDP Leader Howard Hampton criticized the premier for not reacting quickly enough to the catastrophe. Apparently Howard thought Ontario could help out before the hurricane arrived.
While we are entering what could be a prolonged trade dispute with our southern neighbors, this is not the time for petty politics. It is time for saving life. As of the writing of this article at 3:00pm on Wednesday, there has been no word from Ottawa concerning aid. Not from Paul Martin, and not from Jack Layton. To his credit, Mr. Harper issued the following statement: “Natural disasters such as this remind us that when our close friends and neighbours are in trouble we, as Canadians, are always ready to help out.”
Rumour has it that the Liberal party is hurriedly trying to put together a poll to see which side of the issue they will choose to be on.
We are hoping that if it is offered, it doesn’t take as long as the relief is taking to arrive in Halifax. Two years after Hurricane Juan demolished parts of the city, the province of Nova Scotia has received only $4 million of a staggering $28 million dollars earmarked for disaster relief. Let’s pray that Ottawa sends any aid offered to our neighbors a little quicker than that.
It is also ominously quiet on the international stage. It seems that whenever there are disasters, the United States is the first one to offer assistance, indeed, even to its enemies. Even when they give willingly, they are criticized for not doing enough. Where are the offers for them? Why is everyone so quiet?
And people wonder why the Americans are prone to adopt isolationist policies. So would I.