NDP STATEMENT ON CANADIANS STRANDED BY HURRICANE IRMA
Hélène Laverdière, the NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs, made the following statement:
September 11th, 2017 - 11:10am
"Over the past several days our office has been in frequent contact with Canadian families stranded by Hurricane Irma. These Canadians are concerned that the response by Canada to the crisis has been slow and insufficient. They have told us they feel abandoned by their government.
We are very concerned for the welfare and safety of Canadians still stranded on these islands in dangerous circumstances. They must be evacuated today. The lack of communication from the government to Canadians in crisis, particularly those stranded in the Caribbean islands, is unacceptable when compared with the quick action shown by several other countries. Canada should have acted earlier, including by chartering rescue flights, as it has in the past.
This raises serious questions about Canada’s response to future natural disasters. Last spring, the NDP asked for a review of consular services by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. We expect this study to begin when the House resumes this Fall. This study must include a review of Canada's delayed response to Hurricane Irma.
Canadians need to know that the government will be there for them when disaster hits. Canada must do better."