Monday, January 31, 2011

Canada's response to the situation in Egypt

While it's tough to be too critical about a situation that has rapidly developed and that might understandably produce a number of glitches, it's fair to say that the Canadian government is scrambling here in their response to the Egypt situation and they know it. We see photo-ops like this one by the Prime Minister today, producing the "in charge" visual(no questions permitted, of course).

Not surprising they're ramping up the pictures, the on the ground performance in Egypt doesn't seem to be measuring up to what other nations are doing and Canadians there are having difficulties reaching government officials. From a Star report early this afternoon, "Canadian officials nowhere to be found in Cairo," describing the inability to get through to anyone from the government using telephone numbers Lawrence Cannon provided at his Sunday press conference. More here: "Canadians fighting panic as they try to escape Egypt." That latter report notes efforts to deploy additional staff. We shall see how that works over coming days.

The issue of cutbacks to overseas diplomatic missions was raised in Question Period today. We may be seeing the fruits of that choice (more) playing out in Egypt.

Update (9:40 p.m.): Just adding the CBC coverage here on the day's events in respect of Canadians attempting to get out.