"Things that make you want to scream" for $500, Alex...
Okay, first this article:
A specialized urban search and rescue team from Vancouver will be joining the rescue efforts in Louisiana in the wake of hurricane Katrina.
B.C. Solicitor General John Les said the province decided to send Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) after officials in Louisiana asked for help.
"We're the first non-U.S.-based team to be requested," said Les. "They're going to be helping as many people as they can."
CTV Vancouver has learned that the team will board a plane Wednesday night heading to Lafayette, Louisiana, where local authorities will direct them to devastated areas.
Sounds great! Except for one problem -- this team wasn't allowed to fly into the US, blocked by Homeland Security from entering. A Canadian reader sends this report:
On tonight's news, CTV (Canadian TV) said that support was offered from Canada. Planes are ready to load with food and medical supplies and a system called "DART" which can provide fresh water and medical supplies is standing by. Department of Homeland Security as well as other U.S. agencies were contacted by the Canadian government requesting permission to provide help. Despite this contact, Canada has not been allowed to fly supplies and personnel to the areas hit by Katrina. So, everything here is grounded. Prime Minister Paul Martin is reportedly trying to speak to President Bush tonight or tomorrow to ask him why the U.S. federal government will not allow aid from Canada into Louisiana and Mississippi. That said, the Canadian Red Cross is reportedly allowed into the area.
Canadian agencies are saying that foreign aid is probably not being permitted into Louisiana and Mississippi because of "mass confusion" at the U.S. federal level in the wake of the storm.
Once the hard-hit region is back on its feet, there better be a full accounting of the preparation and response to this catastrophe.
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