I have recently heard a rumour that Bev Oda, Guy Lauzon and Stephen Harper have agreed to fund all future donations to Haiti out of their own pockets! I wonder if this is true because I am not too happy to see Canadian hard earned dollars being constantly diverted to Haiti when there are so many of our own living in poverty.
Maybe the rumour is correct because Bev Oda has not given us, as she promised, an accounting of how our money is being spent in that corrupt nation. There would appear to be little progress being made despite the valient efforts of the Red Cross and other worthwhile charities. Initially, my wife and I gave to the Haiti need from our meagre pensions but no more will we be supporting the wealthy few who steal from the poor in that devastated country.
To be sure we have a great deal of empathy for the majority of the people but we have come to the realization the people of Haiti must begin to help themselves. The first move would be to demonstrate against this latest so called election for it truly is a selection not election that has taken place. Typically, our Conservative government is supporting a non-democratic process because, by their own model, they do not believe in democracy.
When I see the vast piles of destroyed building materials that still litter the streets I know that one of our local construction companies could rapidly clear that and use the materials to prepare for the existing terrible roads to be upgraded. Having observed the efficiency of our local construction companies I know this would take no more than a week and, in fact, the roads would be built in less time than it has taken for the Haitian government to convert the many millions of donated dollars into new infrastructure
I also have considerable sympathy for the plight of the Haitian sick but, again, the corrupt Haitian government is the cause. Standing in huge containers on ships in the docks are huge supplies of water treatment equipment. These water treatment supplies have been in the dock for six months awaiting government release. As they await the unloading to be put into good use the people who have shipped them pay increasing tolls on their being in the docks. All this while the Haitain citizens suffer, and hundreds die, from cholera as a result of contaminated water. What a tragic state of affairs. The rest of the world cries for the plight of the ordinary peoples of Haiti as their own officials coldly watch them suffer and die – as they profit from the caring people of the world.
I can recall, as a young man, watching pre-fabricated cement buildings being erected in bomb strewn England. These were erected by elderly men and young women because the young men had gone to war. It sure did not take these amateur construction workers long to get those pre-fabricated buildings up and into use – maybe a week for an entire street of buildings. Why can’t something similar be done in Haiti? Why are Haitian men not conscripted to assist in the creation of their new homes? How will these people ever get any skills if they are allowed to stand and watch as others do their work?
I make no apologies for appearing to be coldly analytical because I really do believe it is time someone said it as it is. Canadians have sent millions after millions of dollars to this ravaged nation but it is difficult, indeed, to see where it has been of profit for ordinary Haitians. In Haiti the old adage stands in clear vision as those who have luxuriate in their ill-gotten gains as the poor get poorer.
John E. Milnes – South Stormont Ontario