Thursday, May 26, 2011

We're all in this together...except when it's bad for business

Totally agree with Patrick Lagacé this morning. There are 500 Canadian troops at present in the Richelieu River valley. Peter MacKay toured the area yesterday. He and the federal government have been asked to have the troops stay to help the people clean up after the flooding subsides. As Lagacé points out, they do seem to be available and it is a dire situation for the people there. Vic Toews' ideological rationale for rejecting the troops staying to assist just misses the mark:
"As you can appreciate, the role of the Canadian Forces is principally based on defence activities and, as a result, they must maintain a capacity to act in that regard when events occur in other provinces or overseas," Toews told Robert Dutil.

"Furthermore, the services you're asking for -- if they were authorized -- would place the Canadian Forces in competition with the private sector, at the local or provincial level, which could perform this type of repair work."
Come on, Conservatives, priorities. The SOS Richelieu committee is looking for 5,000 people to help the clean-up. Why can't the Forces help rather than be restrained by this nonsensical constraint?