D.A.R.T. MISSES THE BOAT

It was with twisted amusement that I heard the announcement yesterday. It seems that our disaster response team has finally been given the go ahead to embark on its Pakistani mission. Too bad it comes a day after many other nations have announced that they are pulling out. It seems that the chance for finding survivors has come and gone.

I will attempt to not simply embark on yet another anti-Liberal tirade, but I must admit, it is going to take a bit of creativity on my part. I simply don’t understand why our government would wait 6 long days to finally make a decision. It seems that there is no such thing as a quick response by our government. When Katrina hit our neighbours, it took days for Ottawa to mobilize the determination to send our boys down to Louisiana. It should have been done much quicker. While I am truly grateful that we are finally getting some manpower to Pakistan, one has to ask who is at the switch.

As a disaster team, shouldn’t DART be ready to leave the day before a disaster? Is that not the whole idea? If and when we are hit with a disaster, does that mean that foreign help will reach the point of crisis before our own people do? Six days is simply not acceptable. When you put this in the context that many nations have done all they could and are going home, it kind of baffles the mind. It is embarrassing. Please don’t misunderstand my criticism and where it is directed. It is truly not at or with the fine men and women who are a part of this team. The criticism should and does lie squarely at those who have weighed the pros and cons for six days while people have died.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Martin urged the international community to keep sending help. Sorry, Paul, everybody else is already at the quake site, it is us that is absent. Once again our international image is tarnished, and our soldiers are made to look inept.

I am just glad that our municipal firefighters don’t have to go through Ottawa to respond to a call. If they did, there would be a lot less houses in this country.