Thursday, September 01, 2005

Phoned In

Many bloggers have noted that the official Canadian government response to Hurricane Katrina has been muted; only yesterday did Paul Martin deign to issue a press release expressing his condolences towards the victims and offering assistance.

Peter MacKay has hit the nail on the head right into the softwood plank: the Liberals might have become so captivated by their own anti-American rhetoric that it overrides even simple human decency:

Conservative deputy leader Peter MacKay said he hoped that Mr. Martin's delay had nothing to do with the war of words between U.S. and Canadian politicians over the softwood-lumber rulings.

He wondered, too, whether it was "the Prime Minister's flight of fancy to avoid giving the impression that we're too close to the Americans.

"I just think there has been a lot of politics that have played out and too much attention paid to polls that seem to suggest that Canadians are not as warm to Americans as they once were," Mr. MacKay said.

Opposition critics also questioned Mr. Martin's decision to talk about softwood lumber and the disaster in the same telephone call.

Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan, the Conservative natural resources critic, said that Mr. Martin waited too long -- three weeks -- to tackle a tough phone call about softwood lumber, and is now about to mix his messages inappropriately.

"For him now to be tying a phone call into softwood -- it rubs me the wrong way, and I'm sure it would rub the American public and the administration the wrong way, too. It's just not appropriate to tie the two things together," Mr. Duncan said.

If your next door neighbour's basement house is on fire, it might not be the best time to remind him that you've lent him your hedge trimmer and really need it back.

Paul Martin's had plenty of time to pick up the phone and call the White House to discuss the softwood lumber ruling. Spending three weeks dithering and even publicly musing about when it would be a good time to call suggests that either the issue wasn't important enough in Martin's mind to bother George Bush with, or that he knows that he's at the bottom of Bush's call-back list.

Or perhaps he's confused it (1-202-456-1111) with the Pizza Pizza number.

Do you think Tony Blair or John Howard would hesitate to pick up the phone if the U.S. upset Britain or Australia over a sensitive trade issue?

Source: Globe and Mail

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find it humourous that you would quote John Duncan, MP for Vancouver Island North. That is probably the only intelligent thing the man has ever said. Having heard many of his comments on the local radio stations in his riding, I can only hope that brain transplants will someday be possible. He can't think for himself.