Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Should the government be expected to rescue stranded Canadians?

I can't help but see all the whining by Canadians stranded in the path of Hurricane Irma as wrong-headed.
I have read several articles in which Canadian citizens are complaining that the Canadian government and Canadian airlines have not been doing enough to rescue them from the disaster zone in which they happened to be sunbathing and partying. They say that the Canadian response has been much inferior to that of the Americans (although Americans are complaining too).
All of which makes me wonder: what responsibility do governments have to bail out citizens who put themselves in harm's way? We are not talking here about an unexpected natural disaster like an earthquake or volcanic eruption: the series of hurricanes and tropical storms currently lashing the Caribbean and southern USA have been predicted and monitored for some time, and their approximate paths modelled in great detail. Neither are we talking about impoverished natives who are unable to make their own evacuation plans: these are well-heeled tourists taking expensive foreign holidays in St. Martins, Cuba and Turks and Caicos.
I think that if I were unlucky enough to be vacationing in an area likely to be hit by a record-breaking storm, I would rapidly make alternative plans, and not wait until some distant government comes up with a tardy rescue plan. Not that I would book a holiday in the Caribbean during hurricane season anyway...

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