Perhaps realizing that issuing a form letter statement from a government department might be a little cold, Paul Martin finally issued a statement from the PMO this afternoon (5:45pm).
“Like all Canadians, I am distressed by the destruction and loss of life wrought by Hurricane Katrina. On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I offer our sincere condolences to the American people. During this most difficult time, Canada stands with you, and we are ready to provide whatever support you may require in the days, weeks and months ahead.
“Even before the enormity of the devastation became clear, I asked Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan to lead the Government of Canada’s response to any requests for assistance. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely. I know that she and a number of her Cabinet colleagues have been in touch with their American counterparts and have begun to determine what assistance Canada can offer. We have made it clear that we are prepared to offer any and all possible assistance, and we will continue to work closely with our neighbours as they deal with this terrible event.”
Doesn’t the last paragraph leave you with the sense that felt that it was necessary to explain his lack of a response before now?
Better late than never…
Here’s some press bias for your Wednesday afternoon. Let’s compare two similar situations.
That bread’s going to go bad anyways and these people will likely need it. Both are looting, yet justifiable in this dire situation. Perhaps some clarification is necessary.
For example, your family can’t eat that looted television:
This is the looting that the press is looking for:
After the most costly natural disaster in American history and certainly the most tragic event that has faced Americans at home in the past few years, how do Canada’s political leaders respond?
Conservative Party of Canada leader Stephen Harper:
“On behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada I would like to express our sympathy to all the victims and their families of Hurricane Katrina. As my wife Laureen and I watched news reports of the disaster with our children we were shocked by the magnitude of their loss.
As Leader of the Opposition, I extend our support and offer of any assistance that we can provide. Natural disasters such as this remind us that when our close friends and neighbours are in trouble we, as Canadians, are always ready to help out.” — Stephen Harper [link]
NDP leader Jack Layton:
Still no statement at this time [UPDATE 8/31 ~6pm]
Prime Minister of Canada and Liberal Party of Canada leader Paul Martin:
Still no statement at this time [UPDATE]
Apparently, the Prime Minister’s appointment of both his lawyer and his secretary to the Senate merits a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, yet when crisis hits our American friends, no statement.
If we dig a little deeper, we find a statement from a department of the Government of Canada written by a staffer which quotes Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Anne McLellan.
Where’s Paul Martin?