Note from the Publisher: Leaderless

November 22, 2011 12:57 pm
police

I consider myself to be a law and order guy. I have always been a proponent and big supporter of the police. My dad was in policing for 38 years.

He trained military police and was on duty in Canada and in Europe and dealt professionally for his entire career with police services from across Canada. He always told me that if I felt troubled or threatened in any way to call the police and they will help. I used to tell my kids that. Now I am not so sure. Lately it’s hard to tell who the good guys are. I even have a person on our staff who I greatly respect who asked not have his name in this issue because he said “the police don’t like criticism.”

As our cover story shows, there appears to be a systemic problem in policing across Canada. The last few years have seen a litany of disturbing cases of police in Canada assaulting its citizens. Poor judgment, poor training, aggressive and boorish behaviour, and a pervasive us versus everyone else mentality seem to be the norm across Canadian police forces. There is a general perception in our society that the police have become a power onto themselves and no longer exist to “serve and protect”. Police officers are subject to the same laws as the rest of us. When they do not obey the rule of law themselves, or break the law, they cause damage to the very fabric of our democratic system. This is why it is imperative that police services have the highest standards of leadership and be led by people who are prepared to be held accountable for the actions of their police constables. But what do you do if the police leadership itself is setting a bad example or is prepared to turn a blind eye to police malfeasance.

Leadership experts will tell you that in any organization the tone is set at the top.

Ottawa Police Chief Vern White seems to have no idea what is going on in his own cellblock, the Toronto Police Chief misrepresents the facts and spouts innuendo to discredit a citizen in an SIU investigation on a live CBC radio interview, the Vancouver Police Chief doesn’t charge anyone for 5 months after the Stanley Cup riots even though he has loads of video evidence, Montreal’s Police Chief does not account for how two of his officers shot an innocent bystander dead on the street. The former Commissioner of the RCMP is accused by his subordinates of having anger management issues, a London Police Sergeant with years of service Tasers an 11-year-old boy in the head without issuing a warning or using other methods to control the situation.

Chief White’s response to the Stacy Bonds case was deplorable, matched only by the ignorant comments of Ottawa Police Association President Steve Boucher and the chronically inept President of the impotent Ottawa Police Services Board, Eli El- Chantiry. They should all resign.

Police officers are only human and, like everyone else, they are going to make mistakes. Nonetheless, with great power comes great responsibility. With their privileged role in society, police forces must be transparent in admitting to errors and account for their actions to ensure public trust and faith in them is maintained. Expecting the highest degree of professionalism at all times from our police services and calling them on the carpet when they do not deliver makes for a better police service and stronger communities.

As we go to press the main story in the national news is about Catherine Galliford, a former Royal Canadian Mounted Policewoman and the high profile spokesperson who was involved with the Air India bombing probe and the arrest of serial killer Robert Pickton. She alleges that she faced sexual advances from senior RCMP officers during the 16 years she was with the force. She went off duty sick in 2007 and is now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. She alleges that one of her bosses tried to have sex with her and she has been asked by her bosses to sit on their knees. “It just got to the point that after I had about 16 years of service, I broke. I completely broke,” she said. It is both sad and maddening. What is really broke is the leadership in Canada’s policing.

Note from the Publisher: Top 25 of Ottawa

September 14, 2011 2:22 pm
Oct11_final_web

Well, this issue marks our 11th Top 25 People in the Capital issue. I am always intrigued to see what the result will be after we go through suggestions sent in from readers, writers and staff to see who finally makes the list. The first year we did this was over a decade ago and we jumped into it with a Top 100 List. For the past decade we have published an Annual Top 50 People in the Capital cover. This year we are changing the format to a Top 25 list to allow for more depth and exclusivity of those selected. The list is pretty darn impressive. We starts with the irreverent, funny, friendly, informed and quirky bunch who collectively host the CTV Morning Live Show each day. Yes we cheated and picked all of them as Ottawa’s # 1 Top Person(s) in the Capital this year. They are easily the most entertaining and fun to watch personalities on any morning show in the Capital.

The #2 pick is Stacey Bonds, the young woman who was violently assaulted by the Ottawa Police, who subsequently attempted a cover-up until they were caught red-handed; on video, no less. Another inspired pick is our #3 selection Agathe Côté, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada. Côté may not be well known to many but herf star shines bright in the Canadian business, banking and government world. She is inspirational in a quiet competent way.

Mark Monahan needs no introduction as the successful co-founder and Executive Director of the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest which he helped create. The Bluesfest has grown to become quite possibly the largest and most popular blues gathering on the planet. We felt it was important to highlight Mark this year because we were so impressed with how he dealt with the collapse of the stage during the frightening windstorm on closing night. Bad things do happen but Mark and his team put health and safety issues first and foremost. Further, with a level of transparency not usually associated with Ottawa, Mark was 100 per cent upfront about what happened, why and what the Bluesfest was doing to ensure it does not happen again.

Roger Greenberg makes the list for having the patience of Job in getting the Lansdowne Park redevelopment through, after dealing with some crazed silver-spooned socialists in the Glebe who appear to be against investment and against reason. Reason prevailed! Speaking of reason, we also added to our list Kash Pashootan, a financial services and investment advisor who has helped steer some of Ottawa’s biggest investors through these troubling economic times with sound investment advice. We also asked him to write a column for us to share some of that savvy with our readers.

At the community level, it is hard to ignore the contributions made by Lynne Whitehead of Rogers Ottawa. She flies under the radar yet does so much great work in Ottawa that we wanted to highlight her contribution. Finally, our hat is off to Jeremy Hunt, the Executive Assistant to Prime Minister Harper. He has been with the PM for several years and deserves credit for his efforts in a tough role that most often goes unrecognized.

The men and women on our list are outstanding individuals who have accomplished much and contributed greatly to the success of a city that is growing rapidly while maintaining the “small town” feel for which Ottawa is famous. We at Ottawa Life applaud them for their success and thank them for their efforts. Hear, hear!

The Shame of our Generation

July 14, 2011 10:47 am
Native_Homelessness

The condition and treatment of Canada’s Aboriginal people is the shame of our generation. The statistics speak for themselves. One in four First Nations children live in poverty; twenty-five per cent of Aboriginal people live in seriously substandard housing; overcrowding among First Nations families is double the rate of that for all Canadian families; more than 100 First Nations communities are under continuous boil water advisories and have almost no access to clean water for drinking and sanitation; First Nations people still suffer from Third World diseases such as tuberculosis; more than half of First Nations people are not employed; one Aboriginal child in eight is disabled; high school graduation rates for First Nations youth are half the Canadian rate; First Nations youth commit suicide at five to eight times the Canadian rate. More than half of First Nations and Inuit people are under 25 years of age. The statistics are staggering. And yet, Canadians for the most part ignore this reality. To his credit, the Prime Minister apologized for the residential schools issue and that went a small way to healing the wounds of generations of Aboriginal people. However, real change means tackling head on the disastrous Third World living conditions Aboriginal people face each day. This past winter, I learned of the plight of the Ochapowace Nation in Saskatchewan. The Ochapowace have been held in what is called “third party” financial status for ten years by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (Formerly Indian and Northern Affairs – INAC) because they refused to turn over financial information about small mom and pop type businesses in their community to federal officials. They maintained it was an illegal and improper request and outside of any federal jurisdiction. Several legal experts agreed. In response, the department cut off funding and turned over management of all funds to a non-Aboriginal management company which was paid handsomely to run the financial affairs of the Ochapowace. They were treated like children. As a result of this “third party status”, the Ochapowace were disqualified from applying for any federal housing money and lost 4 million dollars for housing over a ten-year period. The Ochapowace live in poverty directly caused by INAC. I witnessed it on a recent visit. It is a wonderful community comprised of resolute and proud people with strong traditions who have been decimated by stupidity. In twenty-five years of working with Aboriginal communities I have seen INAC put various Aboriginal groups in “catch 22” positions but this beggars belief. In conjunction with Aboriginal organizations, INAC is tasked with working to improve the social well-being and economic prosperity of Aboriginal peoples; developing healthier, more sustainable communities; and encouraging Aboriginal people to participate more fully in Canada’s political, social and economic milieu – to the benefit of all Canadians. By that standard this department is a complete failure. The Ochapowace requested a meeting or an intervention by Minister John Duncan this past winter, but were advised by officials that he was too busy. The Deputy Minister Michael Wernick did not have the courtesy to respond to their registered letters. When we called the Department to find out why he had not responded to such a dire situation we were told he had not received the letters. So we sent copies to them ourselves and they still did not contact the Ochapowace. We called back to inquire once more and were told the Ochapowace were being taken out of third party status. We called the Ochapowace and they had not yet been advised. A week later they were informed by the Department. Even amongst others in the public service, this ministry has a bad reputation. It is obvious Mr. Wernick is not capable of identifying priorities or even having a credible process to respond directly to Aboriginal leaders. He is after all working for them– right? The best thing Ottawa can do for Canada’s Aboriginal community is shut down this redundant and patronizing department and provide all funding directly to credible Aboriginal organizations and let them run their own affairs. Contrary to the bigots who think our Aboriginal neighbours can’t run their own affairs, I would put money down they will manage far better and Canada will be better off for it. All it will take is for Prime Minister Harper to take a leap of faith. Your move Mr. Harper.

Misguided, Ignorant and Improper: Brigette DePape is No One to Admire

June 6, 2011 3:03 pm

Brigette DePape’s unprecedented protest on the floor of the Senate chamber last week during the reading of the Throne Speech was misguided, ignorant and improper and is nothing to cheer about. DePape’s antic did nothing but diminish her in the eyes of many. Her ploy came at a time when Opposition Leader Jack Layton has called for more civility in the house. The bigger problem of course is that she paraded into the red-carpeted centre aisle carrying a red “Stop Harper” sign that she’d pulled from beneath her skirt as Gov. Gen. David Johnston read the new government’s speech from the throne. Where was security!?

The University of Ottawa graduate stood silently holding her hand-painted sign for at least 20 seconds — while the vice-regal made a barely perceptible hitch in his address and a stunned room full of dignitaries and invited guests stared in mute astonishment.

The cowardly part of her protest of course is that she did it with less than two weeks left in her job as a page. What courage. What dedication to her beliefs. She lost two whole weeks of compensation when she was rightly terminated on the spot. Pages agree to be non-partisan in taking the privileged jobs that are granted to a select few talented students from across Canada. Integrity, honesty, tact and duty are all part of the job. She has besmirched and stained the role of Pages with her tasteless action which was obviously preplanned.

What is more offensive than her tawdry stunt is her rhetoric where she claims Conservative values are not Canadian values. She is obviously not very bright and must have forgotten the Harper Conservatives were just elected with a significant majority government by Canadians from coast to coast.

I am not Conservative but totally respect the fact that Mr. Harper has earned the right from the electorate to represent Canada and I have great respect for him in this singularly difficult achievement. Democracy is about respecting our institutions and the desires of the electorate. If we have different ideas and/or values we should put them forward in a responsible and dignified manner. DePape has demeaned Parliament and, in the process, demeaned the millions of Canadians who share Stephen Harper’s conservative values. Perhaps a return to school to learn the basics of democracy, our electoral system and the “first past the post” system is in order.

Veteran Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett is right in calling the protest” by DePape “an abuse of parliamentary privilege.” Green party Leader Elizabeth May is way off base in lauding DePape “for her bravery”. What a crock! Bravery is the guy who stood in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square or the protestors who are being shot in Syria for demanding reform. Is Ms. May kidding? She diminishes the actions of true democrats by calling DePape’s actions “brave.”

DePape is quoted as saying that “I really got to see first-hand the politics of Harper and his agenda going forward,” adding “I decided that I could not just sit idly by any longer and decided this was a good time to take action.” Frankly, if Ms. DePape felt that strongly then, she should have left the Page Program and run for office against the Conservatives like many young Quebec NDP’ers did rather than abuse her position and put a stain on the Page Program with an immature hissy fit. How could any future employer trust this person? We’ll ask that of Elizabeth May. I’m sure she is looking for an assistant.

 

Publisher’s Message

May 8, 2011 10:33 am
ParliamentHillOttawa1

On election night my friend, a long-time Liberal, called me and said, “well, that’s what happens to a Party that tries to be everything to everyone and stands for nothing at all.” The great Liberal Party of Canada, the Party of Laurier, King, St. Laurent, Pearson and Trudeau had been demolished by Liberal hacks and an old boys’ network whose infighting and insatiable lust for power trumped any chance at earning the continued support of Canadians. Where did it all go wrong? The destructive Paul Martin-Jean Chrétien feud is as good a place as any to begin. A fundamental reason for the long time success of the Liberals had always been the constant regeneration and renewal of the Party from within. The virulent animosity of the Martin-Chrétien feud cost the Party a generation of politically active young centrists who saw no room for themselves in a party fraught with insider fighting and unseemly public power struggles. Young people of the centre-left drifted toward the NDP and those on the centre-right toward the Conservatives.

The 2006 unexpected Dion leadership triumph should have been an early indication of the division between grassroots Liberals and the old boys’ club running the show. While Dion would prove to be hopelessly inept and out of his depth, it did not change the fact that Liberals across the country were clamouring for something better. In the ensuing coup d’état staged by the hacks, Michael Ignatieff and his supporters, Party insiders, in a bout of collective stupidity, ignored the grassroots and colluded to appoint by acclamation Ignatieff as the leader. The spin at the time was that the party under Dion was on the verge of bankruptcy and required stability. It proved to be the worst decision in the history of the Liberal Party. Ignatieff, in accepting the post by acclamation, lost any legitimacy with both party members and the Canadian public. Many recalled that Ignatieff did not run for his own nomination back in 2004. He was acclaimed there too. Ignatieff’s only true test of his capacity to run and win a real race was for the leadership in 2006, which he lost. Then, to buy off the unbridled ambition and ego of failed NDP Premier turned “Liberal” Bob Rae, Ignatieff handed him the high profile Foreign Affairs Critic portfolio. He gave ex-B.C. NDP Premier turned “Liberal”, Ujjal Dosanjh, the key Defence Critic portfolio. As a troika they used their roles to regularly attack the Afghanistan mission and the Canadian Forces. Even former Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham was genuinely disgusted with their behaviour and ludicrous claims. After all this, Ignatieff, Rae and Dosanjh demonstrated their cynicism and disdain for Canadians in one of the most brazen political flip-flops of all time by concocting a secret deal with the government to keep the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan until 2014. No debate, no vote in the House of Commons. It was not their sons and daughters laying their lives on the line. Jack Layton deserves credit for strenuously objecting and demanding a vote.  The point?  The Afghanistan policy, like many other issues faced by Ignatieff, Rae, Dosanjh and other Liberals in the House was not about principle. It just reeked of politics.

On election night, before his own seat was even announced as a win, Bob Rae was on television musing about the Liberal Party and a potential merger with the NDP and his own leadership aspirations. Then, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, almost a decade retired from politics, was shilling for Rae to become the interim leader of the defeated party. Chrétien’s good friend and key advisor since the 70s is John Rae, Bob Rae’s brother.  Sadly, it diminishes Mr. Chrétien, truly one of the most successful Liberal Prime Ministers in history. As for Bob Rae, I share the feeling of grassroots Liberals across Canada who think that his idea of the Liberal Party merging with the NDP is a non starter. If Mr. Rae was truly interested in helping rebuild the Liberal Party, his resignation would be a good start. But those who have declared the Liberal Party dead and buried are wrong. The Party will rise out of the ashes. It has done it before and it will do it again.

The Great Liberal Party of Canada Will Return

10:33 am
ParliamentHillOttawa1

On election night my friend, a long-time Liberal, called me and said, “well, that’s what happens to a Party that tries to be everything to everyone and stands for nothing at all.” The great Liberal Party of Canada, the Party of Laurier, King, St. Laurent, Pearson and Trudeau had been demolished by Liberal hacks and an old boys’ network whose infighting and insatiable lust for power trumped any chance at earning the continued support of Canadians. Where did it all go wrong? The destructive Paul Martin-Jean Chrétien feud is as good a place as any to begin. A fundamental reason for the long time success of the Liberals had always been the constant regeneration and renewal of the Party from within. The virulent animosity of the Martin-Chrétien feud cost the Party a generation of politically active young centrists who saw no room for themselves in a party fraught with insider fighting and unseemly public power struggles. Young people of the centre-left drifted toward the NDP and those on the centre-right toward the Conservatives.

The 2006 unexpected Dion leadership triumph should have been an early indication of the division between grassroots Liberals and the old boys’ club running the show. While Dion would prove to be hopelessly inept and out of his depth, it did not change the fact that Liberals across the country were clamouring for something better. In the ensuing coup d’état staged by the hacks, Michael Ignatieff and his supporters, Party insiders, in a bout of collective stupidity, ignored the grassroots and colluded to appoint by acclamation Ignatieff as the leader. The spin at the time was that the party under Dion was on the verge of bankruptcy and required stability. It proved to be the worst decision in the history of the Liberal Party. Ignatieff, in accepting the post by acclamation, lost any legitimacy with both party members and the Canadian public. Many recalled that Ignatieff did not run for his own nomination back in 2004. He was acclaimed there too. Ignatieff’s only true test of his capacity to run and win a real race was for the leadership in 2006, which he lost. Then, to buy off the unbridled ambition and ego of failed NDP Premier turned “Liberal” Bob Rae, Ignatieff handed him the high profile Foreign Affairs Critic portfolio. He gave ex-B.C. NDP Premier turned “Liberal”, Ujjal Dosanjh, the key Defence Critic portfolio. As a troika they used their roles to regularly attack the Afghanistan mission and the Canadian Forces. Even former Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham was genuinely disgusted with their behaviour and ludicrous claims. After all this, Ignatieff, Rae and Dosanjh demonstrated their cynicism and disdain for Canadians in one of the most brazen political flip-flops of all time by concocting a secret deal with the government to keep the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan until 2014. No debate, no vote in the House of Commons. It was not their sons and daughters laying their lives on the line. Jack Layton deserves credit for strenuously objecting and demanding a vote.  The point?  The Afghanistan policy, like many other issues faced by Ignatieff, Rae, Dosanjh and other Liberals in the House was not about principle. It just reeked of politics.

On election night, before his own seat was even announced as a win, Bob Rae was on television musing about the Liberal Party and a potential merger with the NDP and his own leadership aspirations. Then, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, almost a decade retired from politics, was shilling for Rae to become the interim leader of the defeated party. Chrétien’s good friend and key advisor since the 70s is John Rae, Bob Rae’s brother.  Sadly, it diminishes Mr. Chrétien, truly one of the most successful Liberal Prime Ministers in history. As for Bob Rae, I share the feeling of grassroots Liberals across Canada who think that his idea of the Liberal Party merging with the NDP is a non starter. If Mr. Rae was truly interested in helping rebuild the Liberal Party, his resignation would be a good start. But those who have declared the Liberal Party dead and buried are wrong. The Party will rise out of the ashes. It has done it before and it will do it again.

Publisher's Message

10:33 am
ParliamentHillOttawa1

On election night my friend, a long-time Liberal, called me and said, “well, that’s what happens to a Party that tries to be everything to everyone and stands for nothing at all.” The great Liberal Party of Canada, the Party of Laurier, King, St. Laurent, Pearson and Trudeau had been demolished by Liberal hacks and an old boys’ network whose infighting and insatiable lust for power trumped any chance at earning the continued support of Canadians. Where did it all go wrong? The destructive Paul Martin-Jean Chrétien feud is as good a place as any to begin. A fundamental reason for the long time success of the Liberals had always been the constant regeneration and renewal of the Party from within. The virulent animosity of the Martin-Chrétien feud cost the Party a generation of politically active young centrists who saw no room for themselves in a party fraught with insider fighting and unseemly public power struggles. Young people of the centre-left drifted toward the NDP and those on the centre-right toward the Conservatives.

The 2006 unexpected Dion leadership triumph should have been an early indication of the division between grassroots Liberals and the old boys’ club running the show. While Dion would prove to be hopelessly inept and out of his depth, it did not change the fact that Liberals across the country were clamouring for something better. In the ensuing coup d’état staged by the hacks, Michael Ignatieff and his supporters, Party insiders, in a bout of collective stupidity, ignored the grassroots and colluded to appoint by acclamation Ignatieff as the leader. The spin at the time was that the party under Dion was on the verge of bankruptcy and required stability. It proved to be the worst decision in the history of the Liberal Party. Ignatieff, in accepting the post by acclamation, lost any legitimacy with both party members and the Canadian public. Many recalled that Ignatieff did not run for his own nomination back in 2004. He was acclaimed there too. Ignatieff’s only true test of his capacity to run and win a real race was for the leadership in 2006, which he lost. Then, to buy off the unbridled ambition and ego of failed NDP Premier turned “Liberal” Bob Rae, Ignatieff handed him the high profile Foreign Affairs Critic portfolio. He gave ex-B.C. NDP Premier turned “Liberal”, Ujjal Dosanjh, the key Defence Critic portfolio. As a troika they used their roles to regularly attack the Afghanistan mission and the Canadian Forces. Even former Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham was genuinely disgusted with their behaviour and ludicrous claims. After all this, Ignatieff, Rae and Dosanjh demonstrated their cynicism and disdain for Canadians in one of the most brazen political flip-flops of all time by concocting a secret deal with the government to keep the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan until 2014. No debate, no vote in the House of Commons. It was not their sons and daughters laying their lives on the line. Jack Layton deserves credit for strenuously objecting and demanding a vote.  The point?  The Afghanistan policy, like many other issues faced by Ignatieff, Rae, Dosanjh and other Liberals in the House was not about principle. It just reeked of politics.

On election night, before his own seat was even announced as a win, Bob Rae was on television musing about the Liberal Party and a potential merger with the NDP and his own leadership aspirations. Then, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, almost a decade retired from politics, was shilling for Rae to become the interim leader of the defeated party. Chrétien’s good friend and key advisor since the 70s is John Rae, Bob Rae’s brother.  Sadly, it diminishes Mr. Chrétien, truly one of the most successful Liberal Prime Ministers in history. As for Bob Rae, I share the feeling of grassroots Liberals across Canada who think that his idea of the Liberal Party merging with the NDP is a non starter. If Mr. Rae was truly interested in helping rebuild the Liberal Party, his resignation would be a good start. But those who have declared the Liberal Party dead and buried are wrong. The Party will rise out of the ashes. It has done it before and it will do it again.

I Weep for Haiti – A Message from the Publisher

March 6, 2011 12:22 am
Dan_Donovan

I encourage everyone to read Claire Tremblay’s article, Haiti, After The Earthquake, The Disaster in this issue. The Haitian earthquake of 2010 was such an epic natural disaster it was beyond any forecasts, predictions and perhaps anyone’s conceptual capacity such that the magnitude of the destruction literally stopped the entire world in it tracks. There was essentially no government, no infrastructure, no food, no medical supplies, no housing; just death, destruction and misery. But the world cares. We know this because collectively over 8 billion dollars was donated for disaster relief from countries worldwide.

The United Nations (U.N.) was the lead agency tasked with using these sums to effectively restart Haiti from scratch. And what, with this disaster in front of them, did they do? Assign a U.N. person to act as a defacto interim leader to begin the rebuild process? Give that person over arching powers to bring in machinery, food and supplies to establish order amidst the chaos? Convince U.N. members to put troops on the ground creating the security required to facilitate reconstruction thus enabling the Haitian people themselves to begin rebuilding without fear of looters and violent psychopathic parasites preying on misery? No, of course not. Instead, the brain trust running the show (including many Canadians working with the U.N.) decided that the Haitian people needed an election more than anything. So the Canadian government, as it is wont to do, signed on with the U.N. and initiated the most ill-conceived, least useful and perhaps the dumbest election ever held.

In the meantime, the people suffered, the roads remained crowded with collapsed buildings and the “rebuild” meandered along aimlessly like 2 year olds tasked with rebuilding the World Trade Centre. To add insult to injury, when cholera broke out and claimed another 2000 lives, the U.N. put out pleas for more money to stop the cholera in Haiti even though they are sitting on over 7 billion dollars in donations. It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode, “You know how to collect the money but you just don’t know how to spend it. And that’s really the most important thing.” The ineptitude of the bureaucrats is almost comical but for the enormous tragedy unfolding in Haiti at this very moment. The lessons of history are with us to help solve the Haiti crisis. Haiti needs order and the people need food, shelter and hope. Not elections. The U.N. should have named an interim government to oversee reparations. They should have had a mandate to bring in heavy equipment to clear out the rubble and spent billions of dollars hiring Haitian people to assist in this process. They should have streamed billions more into building new sewage and road infrastructure and homes. Billions should have been spent for food and food recovery on the island nations. A Marshall Plan for Haiti would have been the most effective way of transitioning to local governance after the people were back on their feet and on the road toward becoming a stable, habitable country and a secure hemispheric partner.

The U.N. could have done this and the Haitian people would have applauded. Instead, we got the lack lustre anti-leadership of Canada, the United States and the U.N. who decided to put the recovery and saving lives stuff on the back burner while playing the politically correct game of, “Let’s Have an Election”. That sucking sound was a vacuum of leadership so profound even Baby Doc thought he could return to Haiti with impunity! Harry Truman saved all of Europe from a complete collapse from starvation and destruction with the Marshall Plan in the period immediately after WWII. There was an oversight quasi-military government that ran the show. Today, Europe has the greatest democratic institutions on the planet. Where are the great leaders and thinkers who can deliver a Marshall Plan for Haiti? The response to Haiti by the United Nations and our own government is both a moral failure and the shame of our generation. It is beyond sad. People are dying. I weep for Haiti.

I Weep for Haiti

12:22 am
Dan_Donovan

I encourage everyone to read Claire Tremblay’s article, Haiti, After The Earthquake, The Disaster in this issue. The Haitian earthquake of 2010 was such an epic natural disaster it was beyond any forecasts, predictions and perhaps anyone’s conceptual capacity such that the magnitude of the destruction literally stopped the entire world in it tracks. There was essentially no government, no infrastructure, no food, no medical supplies, no housing; just death, destruction and misery. But the world cares. We know this because collectively over 8 billion dollars was donated for disaster relief from countries worldwide.

The United Nations (U.N.) was the lead agency tasked with using these sums to effectively restart Haiti from scratch. And what, with this disaster in front of them, did they do? Assign a U.N. person to act as a defacto interim leader to begin the rebuild process? Give that person over arching powers to bring in machinery, food and supplies to establish order amidst the chaos? Convince U.N. members to put troops on the ground creating the security required to facilitate reconstruction thus enabling the Haitian people themselves to begin rebuilding without fear of looters and violent psychopathic parasites preying on misery? No, of course not. Instead, the brain trust running the show (including many Canadians working with the U.N.) decided that the Haitian people needed an election more than anything. So the Canadian government, as it is wont to do, signed on with the U.N. and initiated the most ill-conceived, least useful and perhaps the dumbest election ever held.

In the meantime, the people suffered, the roads remained crowded with collapsed buildings and the “rebuild” meandered along aimlessly like 2 year olds tasked with rebuilding the World Trade Centre. To add insult to injury, when cholera broke out and claimed another 2000 lives, the U.N. put out pleas for more money to stop the cholera in Haiti even though they are sitting on over 7 billion dollars in donations. It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode, “You know how to collect the money but you just don’t know how to spend it. And that’s really the most important thing.” The ineptitude of the bureaucrats is almost comical but for the enormous tragedy unfolding in Haiti at this very moment. The lessons of history are with us to help solve the Haiti crisis. Haiti needs order and the people need food, shelter and hope. Not elections. The U.N. should have named an interim government to oversee reparations. They should have had a mandate to bring in heavy equipment to clear out the rubble and spent billions of dollars hiring Haitian people to assist in this process. They should have streamed billions more into building new sewage and road infrastructure and homes. Billions should have been spent for food and food recovery on the island nations. A Marshall Plan for Haiti would have been the most effective way of transitioning to local governance after the people were back on their feet and on the road toward becoming a stable, habitable country and a secure hemispheric partner.

The U.N. could have done this and the Haitian people would have applauded. Instead, we got the lack lustre anti-leadership of Canada, the United States and the U.N. who decided to put the recovery and saving lives stuff on the back burner while playing the politically correct game of, “Let’s Have an Election”. That sucking sound was a vacuum of leadership so profound even Baby Doc thought he could return to Haiti with impunity! Harry Truman saved all of Europe from a complete collapse from starvation and destruction with the Marshall Plan in the period immediately after WWII. There was an oversight quasi-military government that ran the show. Today, Europe has the greatest democratic institutions on the planet. Where are the great leaders and thinkers who can deliver a Marshall Plan for Haiti? The response to Haiti by the United Nations and our own government is both a moral failure and the shame of our generation. It is beyond sad. People are dying. I weep for Haiti.

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