(Reposted from BLY – June 29, 2012)
I rarely agree with the Star’s Martin Regg Cohn but he’s made a few pithy points in his latest column (Damage control in Elliot Lake’s disaster zone):
Premier Dalton McGuinty gassed up his government plane Wednesday to join a couple of cabinet ministers who made their way to Elliot Lake, belatedly, on Tuesday — three days after disaster struck. McGuinty and his cabinet were in Sudbury over the weekend, a mere two-hour drive away, but not a single minister thought to look in on them in their hour of need, when they felt abandoned by their own government.
Elliot Lake endured double jeopardy this week: A roof collapse too painful to watch, and a collapsed rescue effort on the ground that proved even harder to bear.
The mishandling — and miscommunication — of the rescue effort has driven a wedge between the government and the public. If people believe their elected officials and public servants cannot be entrusted with disaster management, disastrous consequences loom.
Of course we all know the buck-passing that ensued.
Cohn goes on to blame this type of incompetence on a “culture of Canadian caution and bureaucratic confusion”, that wouldn’t be different even if we replaced ‘the party in power’.
And that is where I strongly disagree with Cohn. There certainly does exist a degree of toadying, mindless bureaucratic rule-following mentality in the ROC, but I think this problem is much more profound here since Dalton McGuinty has entrenched his ‘Nanny State’ mindset into Ontarioans for all these years.
It is a sickness oozing out of the Premier’s office into the minds of bureaucrats and into the very souls of Ontario residents. It causes us to doubt ourselves and be ever fearful of thinking out of the box, or daring to break out of the mold.
The product of a top-down, Big Government-imposed Nanny State is the kind of chaos and mismanagement we all witnessed in Elliot Lake.
I just pray it’s not too late to reverse the process.
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Blizzard: Waiting still at Elliot Lake – Sun (This is a MUST-READ)