Canadians Beat U.S. Army To New Orleans Suburb

Posted on Thursday, September 08 at 10:40 by
A Canadian search-and-rescue team reached a flooded New Orleans suburb to help save trapped residents five days before the U.S. military, a Louisiana state senator said on Wednesday. The Canadians beat both the Army and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. disaster response department, to St. Bernard Parish east of New Orleans, where flood waters are still 8 feet deep in places, Sen. Walter Boasso said. "Fabulous, fabulous guys," Boasso said. "They started rolling with us and got in boats to save people." "We've got Canadian flags flying everywhere." The stricken parish of 68,000 people was largely ignored by U.S. authorities who scrambled to get aid to New Orleans, a few miles (km) away. Boasso said residents of the outlying parishes had to mount their own rescue and relief efforts when Hurricane Katrina roared ashore on August 29. The U.S. government response to the disaster has been widely criticized. Politicians and editorial writers have called for the resignation of top Bush administration officials. Boasso said U.S. authorities began airdropping relief supplies to St. Bernard last Wednesday, the same day the Canadian rescue team of about 50 members arrived from Vancouver, nearly 2,200 miles away. "They chartered a plane and flew down," he said. Two FEMA officials reached the parish on Sunday and the U.S. Army arrived on Monday, he said. "Why does it take them seven days to get the Army in?" Boasso asked. He speculated that the smaller parishes suffered because the focus was on New Orleans, the famous home of jazz and Mardi Gras. As for the Canadians, Boasso gave thanks for their quick work. "They were so glad to be here," he said. "They're still here. They are actually going door-to-door looking in the attics" for people to rescue, he said. Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited

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  1. Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:20 pm
    Way to go Canada, although it's kind of unbelievable we got there before their own army, eh? This is why it's so important we provide aid and help to the US right now--because our help can literally get more people rescued and safe.

    "When I told him about class warfare, he asked if we did it in JellO."--translation/paraphrase, The Candidate, CBC

  2. Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:35 pm
    Now that is the way we work in Canada,, if we did not, we know our government would treat us the same way the US government treated their citizens.

    Government is really all about the upper crust looking out for the upper crust, nothing more , nothing less.

  3. by gorian
    Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:17 pm
    The thing that touches me is that countries like Canada, Mexico, and Cuba -- anti-war countries all painted with the same brush over the past few years -- are coming to the rescue of Americans. I have no problem with it -- I just hope that our American friends can recognize that we are not anti-American, only anti-American imperialism. I know too many people who pretend that there is no such difference, but it is real and it is genuine. Humans are humans wherever you go. Nations and corporations, however, especially behind tanks and bullets, are anything but.

    "Looks like the horror has finally ceased.
    Well, he said, yeah, for the time being at least."


  4. Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:11 am
    Oh, come on, you smug little people. Put it in perspective.

    One parrish, and those rescued are properly grateful. Good job. Now, how about the others, powers of ten more, needing longterm, continuing assistance, beyond some glory-grabbing rescues: food, transportation, medical services, housing, employment?

    Meanwhile, MILLIONS of others have been able to get themselves out of the way, help each other, ... and still need continued emergency services.

    As for the delay: The city and state screwed up, and the feds couldn't do anything until she admitted it. Plus, of course, the minor issues of getting the civilian members of the National Guard mobilized, and then getting them postitioned over devistated infrastructure, with no communications links in place. Little things like that.

  5. Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:50 am
    The smug little people as far away as British Columbia, seem to have had better communication with those people then did their own neighbours. No National Guard of civilians to gather I guess.

  6. Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:40 am
    Nonsense.Fema & the national guard ignored many requests
    to get in there promptly.They intentionally stalled.
    Probably by orders from the feds.The mayor was begging for
    help.A tiny bit of help came days later, then a tiny
    bit more.Not enough.1000's died as a result.Fema &
    the national guard get BILLIONS and BILLIONS in funding
    PRECISELY for the purpose of responding QUICKLY to
    a LARGE disaster.They didn't respond quickly.They
    barely responded at all.The Red Cross spokesperson
    stated on CNN that they were prevented from entering
    promptly by the feds.Many other countries said the same
    thing.It's widely documented, and indisputable.

  7. by gorian
    Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:44 am
    Don't forget though, smug as you/we are, that a handful of people helping a handful of people does not a crisis solve. Canada is not in a position to handle a major disaster with any efficiency. We have the means, just not the will. There was a time Canada provided the peacekeepers of the world. Today, as we push our politicians towards tax cuts, we can barely defend some artic islands from the Danes, let alone big cities from innevitable natural disasters. God help us if ever the Americans invade (just kidding).


  8. by DL
    Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:44 pm
    Right on Anon 12:40 am, you speak the truth. The mayor and others begged for help repeatedly and early. The actions to deny aid were deliberate, with a foregone conclusion about what denying that aid would mean in terms of loss of life. I'm not fond of tapdancing around the truth. It wasn't a mistake, the admin didn't get caught with their pants down, they deliberately withheld aid when it was available and offered. They chose to let people die. Why? Is there any answer to that question that is good?

    I wonder at the folks like our Anon above who still defend the Bush administration. They've got know by now that if their name isn't on the Bush family's private country club list that there isn't a lifeboat with their name on it either. They'd look at our anon above and weighed against a dollar, and they put him on par with the folks from New Orleans. Our bushwacked anon is either too naive for belief or paid to spout the gospel according to Bush.

  9. by mk
    Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:25 pm
    Two questions (not to you gorian, for all):

    1) what are the disasters that might happen in the region you call home?
    2) if one of them happens, what's your job?

    Why should not each able civilian in a region at particular risk not be nominally conscripted for a specific duty should disaster strike? Libertarians and Laissez-fairies wouldn't like it, but tough.

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