GOVERNMENT ISN’T ALWAYS TO BLAME FOR TRAGEDIES

Living in southern Ontario, one would have to be in a coma not to have heard of the tragic events that took place last weekend in Fergus. That is the spot where the life of one woman was changed forever. Taking her three young boys out for a day of fun at the Belwood Lake Conservation Area, Mrs. Le never imagined that it would be the last day for one of her sons, and cause the last to come quickly for yet another.

What was to be a day of frolick quickly turned bad when one of her sons was found floating in the water. After he was recovered from the Lake, it was found that his two older brothers were also unaccounted for. A search was quickly done and their still bodies were also pulled from the water. Young Calvin and Larry Le have left behind their brother Anthony, as well as their mother. As a parent, I am getting emotional just typing this, and I don’t want to even try to imagine such pain.

I have wondered, and I am not alone, if these boys could swim and why were they not wearing life jackets? This saddest of days was so preventable; that is where the truest tragedy lies.

The media was quick to report that supervision of the lake had ended because of budget cuts, casting the ominous questions about what could have been done to prevent this. It is inevitable in our culture it seems to blame the government for any and all acts of tragedy. While the lives of these two boys is worth far more than any savings that could have been had with these budget cuts, it is easy to point that out now in hindsight.

I am sure in the days ahead, someone will call for us to spend millions of dollars on yet another inquiry. It is a shame that it will be a coroner’s inquiry. I am of the mind, however, that one is not needed. The government’s role is not to babysit our children. As a country, we spend untold millions of dollars on safety device testing, awareness, and prevention through education. We must stop putting everything on the backs of society by way of government, and take responsibility for ourselves.

While this may seem to be a heartless statement at such a horrible time for Mrs. Le, I mean no disrespect. It is simply meant to point out that we expect the government to be everything to everyone, and that is not a reasonable or wise expectation. I would hope, however, that a whole generation of new moms and dads will listen to this heartwrenching story and make a firm promise to themselves that they will always have their children in life preservers around water. It’s worked for me.