Weekly Commentary  

What could be worse?

Haiti’s horrors will continue to be catalogued for a long time to come.

Along with the accounts of utter despair and loss will be the stories of courage, sacrifice and human triumph.

I will not try to match the appropriately epic descriptions covering all aspects of this tragically historic event.

Allow me, however, to reflect briefly on a few items.

First, it is with some sense of pride that most Canadians (and most of the national media) are commenting favourably on Canada's rapid response in Haiti's most dire hour of need. Having said that, the world-wide outpouring of compassion and commitment will need to be sustained at unparalleled levels for many months, and perhaps for years to come.

Among the heartfelt stories of human response that fill our airwaves and newspapers a simple but moving one features some BC high school kids.

As I'm sure you've heard, from a high school in our province's interior a band of students found themselves trapped in Haiti, surrounded by sights and events which they will never forget. While they waited to be evacuated from an increasingly dangerous situation, they made a decision.

They could huddle together for safety reasons, which would have been totally understandable...or, they could use whatever means available to help ease the suffering so evident all around them.

They chose to help. They emptied their pockets of all available hard-earned cash. For high school kids this would be like their life savings.

They then found a way to buy rice and other staples...but not for their own eating.

They then emerged and went to those in such awful need and handed out all of the food until it was gone.

These young people will never forget the days and long nights they waited to be rescued. And the Haitian people they so unselfishly helped will also never forget those 'kids from Canada'.

Next time you hear somebody muttering about 'the youth of today', tell them about the students from Mount Sentinel Secondary School in BC's Slocan Valley.

They were true heroes to the people of Haiti and ambassadors for the rest of us.

Hats off to school superintendent Patricia Dooley who worked tirelessly with a whole lot of very distraught parents. And a big thanks to Pastor Jim Reimer and others with the group in Haiti who managed to find ways to communicate with the outside world and coordinate the evacuation.

We salute each of you. Bravo.

The rest of my weekly report will sort of pale in comparison to what I've told you so far. But it really bears mentioning that the hard working volunteers of Logan Lake managed another successful Pond Hockey Tournament hosting 24 teams from Vancouver, Calgary and all points in between.

Trophies could have been given to the Seniors who worked from 1 AM to 5 AM to pump water from below the ice to resurface each of the six rinks. Dave Pierce from the RCMP oversaw the army of people it took to organize this now famous event.

The only moments that his enthusiastic grin disappeared from his face was when we talked together of the RCMP members who had perished in Haiti's earthquake half a world away from the ice of Logan Lake.

As I spent some time on Saturday going door to door there and in Merritt I got some good ideas and advice on a number of doorsteps related to the upcoming federal budget.

This week I will be in Ottawa for three days, then back for the rest of the week for meetings in Vancouver and right here in the constituency. Please call the office if you need to meet with me.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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