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Friday 17 June 2011

Missing the Point

Hurricane Igor is making a comeback, at least in the news anyway. There are criticisms coming forward around the Provincial Government's response and the delay in engaging the military and the Coast Guard. My 2 cents started with this entry but today it's necessary to add a few more items based on this mornings news reel.

First to the Premier
Today's edition of The Telegram has a front page story 'Premier defends Igor response' and in it Premier Dunderdale says that calling in the Federal resources too early could have made things worse.
"When you just start pulling in people from all over the place without any planning, without any reliance on your own emergency plans and your own emergency response plan, then what you do is create chaos."
The point of my previous post was exactly that we don't have appropriate plans. Either they don't have an appropriate emergency response plan, or they completely ignored it. Whatever the answer the Province did not handle this as well as they could have but both the Premier and Municipal Affairs Minister Kevin O'Brien seem to think everything went like clockwork.

And Now over to the Minister
For those of you who listen to the CBC morning show for the St. John's area, you will have heard Minister O'Brien defend the Provincial response in conversation with John Furlong. (Available Here) The conversation displayed a few interesting things. First is that the Minister was obviously irritated by the gaul of Furlong to ask questions about the response and to even bring up the name of Rev. Squires. Rev. Squires is from Catalina and he has been very outspoken on the Igor response. I got the impression that O'Brien was holding himself back from saying something quite nasty about the Rev.

When asked about the response the Minister touted how the bridges were open in 10 days and that there were staff on the ground and help in place in a few days following the storm. He talked up how well organized and prepared the response was. Furlong attempted to get at the point that people needed help during and immediately following the event and not 3 to 10 days later, but the Minister went back to saying how the provincial staff didn't need defending and that the response was great. To be perfectly clear Furlong then asked if O'Brien would change anything if he had it all to do again. He said he wouldn't change a thing. Personally I would have changed quite a great deal but that's just me.

Until next time...
So we had the largest storm in living memory, maybe ever, and there were communities and people cut off and without power, medical help and food for days, but neither the Minister responsible nor the Premier see anything wrong. I have a suggestion for the people of NL: you had better be ready to take care of yourself when we have another huge storm, because the Premier and the Minister are missing the point.

1 comment:

  1. I was flabergasted to hear O'brien stand in the house of assembly are incinuated Rev Squires was lieing about calling his office..Then he wanted to see his phone records. I thought that was not only rude but totally uncalled for. RANDY