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Tuesday, November 03, 2009 

Auditor General Says 'Public Safety Canada Is A Disaster'!

OTTAWA — The federal department charged with disaster planning is itself a disaster when it comes to preparing for emergencies as varied as the swine flu pandemic, floods and terrorist attacks, says Auditor General Sheila Fraser.

"We found that Public Safety Canada has not exercised the leadership necessary to co-ordinate emergency management activities," Fraser concluded in her latest report, tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Her department did not study the current H1N1 crisis, but Fraser believes that had Public Safety Canada put pandemic management plans in place, there would have been less confusion.

"Certainly an approved plan would have clearly indicated what the role was for Public Safety Canada, what the roles of the other departments and the federal government would be, and would also have brought in the co-ordination with the provinces, municipalities and territories," Fraser told reporters. "So it's important — very important — that the role and responsibilities of Public Safety Canada be agreed to and endorsed in these emergencies."


I just took a look at the Public Safety Canada website here:


To be fair, there is a link on the side about H1N1, and coordinating an H1N1 response is almost entirely Health Canada and their provincial counterparts.

I think the problem is lack of coordination across different government departments and different levels of government.

I wonder if the attitude of the current government is "if it's provincial or municipal jurisdiction, it's not our problem." Seems likely to me.

While not interfering with provincial agencies, PSC could help with facilitation and coordination. For example, there are things where jurisdiction isn't clear; PSC could negotiate or nominate a lead agency... if it knew (had studied, had done its homework).

AS is the case with more civilized western countries than we realize public safety continues to be a grave concern. While Canada has been something of a target for decades, few could have predicted that H1N1 vaccine was going to run out so quickly, growing snouts and iggly-wiggly tails ought to be the least of concerns at this stage in the game. Besides, we've been becoming lazy, slovenly pigs for some time. I'm actually surprised not to be seeing images of Charles handing out free opium for all Canadians. The fact is, we've been hooked on donuts, beer and the spectacular delusion of superiority (in education, politics, modernity, science, etc)for a number of years. Our ever so diligent government has convinced us we are it. Stephen Harper is just as overweight as the rest of Canada, his French is mediocre at best, he is likely as unclear about 'Canadian culture' as anyone else is, and while he might not turn into a pig while Charles steals his thunder, he could very well be captain of a sinking ship.

Canadians suffer. Our country has been a vapid bastion of conservative weaklings from the moment Chretian stepped out of office and Leonard Cohen stopped pumping out the hits. But even 'Billie' Jean was just trying to keep the flames of Trudeau from being snuffed. while the rest of the world is obsessed with faster bullet trains, we're still working at perfecting Greyhound service through the country.

Presently, turning into a pig and getting hooked on the Opium arriving with the next Royal visit seems favorable. We don't compete; we hoard and we exist. French isn't even our official second language, Chinese is.

The model being presented by Asia is working... and while its just not fun enough for us to consider applying ourselves with the same diligence, we have few problems agreeing on this.

Harper isn't a bad guy, he's just Canadian and like Canadians, he just needs a little shove. Well here it is:

Teach our children how to care about hard work (yes, this includes studying; we don't need to become laborers for those who prove smarter).

Teach us to be humble. We might live in a beautiful place, but we act like billionaires who insist they don't need an accountant.

Teach us more about Asia in schools. What are they doing in the east that is working so well? Why can't we try like that?

Public safety is a disaster indeed, but it is symptomatic of far more sinister disasters in the works.

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