Stop whin­ing, Cana­dian trav­ellers

Ottawa Citizen - - OPINION -

We are ap­palled by the in­sen­si­tiv­ity of Cana­dian va­ca­tion­ers in the Caribbean islands. While peo­ple in the Caribbean and Florida are los­ing their homes, even fam­ily mem­bers and pets, Cana­dian va­ca­tion­ers have noth­ing bet­ter to do then com­plain about the govern­ment not res­cu­ing them fast enough.

There were many ad­vance warn­ings about Hur­ri­cane Irma and the de­struc­tion a Cat­e­gory 4 or 5 hur­ri­cane could do.

These va­ca­tion­ers could have made ar­range­ments to change their flights to get back home or can­cel their travel plans be­fore the hur­ri­cane ar­rived.

The govern­ment did not send them on their va­ca­tions, so why is it they are com­plain­ing now and why is it up to the govern­ment to bring them back home?

Shame on you, Cana­dian va­ca­tion­ers.

In­stead, while you were there any­ways, you could have helped the lo­cal peo­ple with the cleanup. Uwe and Ana Maria Ruten­berg, Stittsville

Quit putting blame on govern­ment

See­ing the dev­as­ta­tion in the Caribbean islands, the Florida Keys and other re­gions of Florida, my heart goes out to those who had the com­mon sense to leave when told to do so, only to be re­turn­ing now to homes com­pletely de­stroyed.

How­ever, I have lit­tle sym­pa­thy for those who blame gov­ern­ments for not get­ting them out at the last minute be­fore Irma hit.

They had am­ple warn­ing that this ma­jor hur­ri­cane was bear­ing down on them. They did not lis­ten to ad­vice to leave.

Quit point­ing the fin­ger. Look in a mir­ror if you want some­one to blame. These peo­ple should be most thank­ful they sur­vived. Some didn’t. Ron Oak­ley, Ottawa Let’s dis­cuss who ‘stupid’ ones are

Re: Grap­pling with Irma’s af­ter­math a po­lit­i­cal hur­ri­cane in wait­ing, Sept. 14. While Christina Spencer’s

ar­ti­cle makes an in­ter­est­ing case for the need to clar­ify con­sular du­ties, her sug­ges­tion that the govern­ment had to res­cue Cana­di­ans caught in the path of Hur­ri­cane Irma be­cause “any per­cep­tion of in­dif­fer­ence to their trauma would be both heart­less and stupid” is not fair.

Many Cana­di­ans en­gage in be­hav­iour that in­volves great risk and high prob­a­bil­ity of a neg­a­tive out­come. Why should the Cana­dian tax­payer be on the hook when things go bad, or be ac­cused of be­ing “stupid” if they want to dis­cuss it first?

Any­one who smokes cig­a­rettes has a high risk of get­ting lung cancer. But we pay for the treat­ment. Buy­ing a house on the edge of a river? We pay for govern­ment com­pen­sa­tion pro­grams when it floods. Ev­ery­one knows opi­ates are ad­dic­tive. When there is a spike in ad­dic­tion, sud­denly the govern­ment an­nounces the spend­ing of hun­dreds of mil­lions to deal with the “cri­sis.”

Ev­ery­one knows Au­gust to Oc­to­ber is hur­ri­cane sea­son in the Caribbean. Ev­ery­one. Why is it not con­sid­ered stupid to go there at that time? Frank Le­clair, Ottawa

Air travel is a big part of the problem

Christina Spencer’s ar­ti­cle was in­ter­est­ing for what it lacked.

She cor­rectly ac­knowl­edged the in­evitable dis­as­trous weather events com­ing, plus the in­creas­ing num­bers of Cana­di­ans trav­el­ling by air, and she raises the ques­tion of whether this re­quires the govern­ment to do more to pro­tect cit­i­zens.

But there was no ref­er­ence to the ele­phant in the room; fos­sil fu­els con­sumed in air travel. We are all sit­ting in boil­ing wa­ter and still turn­ing up the heat. If the govern­ment did want to do some­thing to pro­tect us, there could be mas­sively larger taxes on those who are ex­ac­er­bat­ing the speed of cli­mate chaos.

In­stead, gov­ern­ments sup­port and en­cour­age tourism through air travel. It is treated as a harm­less plea­sure, but with such vol­ume it has be­come a curse. Ros­alie Reynolds, Ottawa

The use re­stric­tions (in On­tario’s draft reg­u­la­tions for cannabis use) ig­nore the sen­ti­ment that le­gal­iza­tion will bol­ster the sta­tus of cannabis use as a so­cial ac­tiv­ity, rather than one con­fin­ing it to the prover­bial pri­vate ‘bed­rooms of the na­tion.’ Dr. Benedikt Fis­cher

CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IM­AGES

Hur­ri­cane Irma de­stroyed homes and al­tered lives in the Florida Keys and other areas caught in its path of de­struc­tion, and let­ter writ­ers had lit­tle sym­pa­thy for Cana­dian va­ca­tion­ers who didn’t leave de­spite re­ceiv­ing ad­vance warn­ing.

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