JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE HORRIBLE SHOPPING CENTER ROOF COLLAPSE AT ELLIOT LAKE – LACK OF LEADERSHIP? – AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE – COMMENTS ON RESCUERS AND AN UNTHINKING COMPARISON WITH 9/11   Leave a comment

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED COMMENTS TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I don’t believe the situation involves leadership at all.

Elliot Lake is desperate old mining town trying to spark a new life as a retirement community.

We know from the words of residents and its history that the shopping center has been in poor shape for years, the owner undoubtedly reluctant to spend a million dollars or more to bring it up.

And just who is that would push him?

He would just close the facility and sell the land.

Who would take this risk of seeing a fairly essential service close down in a community trying to lure new residents?

The local newspaper? You must be kidding, local papers everywhere and always are just community boosters.

Any part of the local government? Again, boosterism is a primary function.

Indeed, an engineer inspected the place in the not-too-distant past.

He said to someone working in a shop, someone very worried about the roof, that the stains and cracks and water leaks were just cosmetic.

No matter how conscientious the engineer, would he take on all the community boosters to threaten the existence of the center?

Remember Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People”?

That was the definitive story of how a single conscientious man, a doctor, discovering something very wrong with his community’s main source of income, was treated.

The story is iconic because that is the way most of the human race behaves given such circumstances.

We are, after all, nothing but chimps with somewhat larger brains.

Look closer to home.

Has the Globe started any kind of campaign about a Mayor who has broken laws a number of times during his brief time in office? Observed driving while using his cellphone? Running an open streetcar door? Abusing a TTC employee trying to be conscientious towards his passengers?

Did the Globe start any campaign over Mr. Harper’s contempt of Parliament? His refusal to provide essential information? His lying to Parliament? His grovelling to special interests, distorting Canada’s historic fairness in policies? His deliberate ignoring of international treaty obligations?

No, the Globe recommended he be re-elected.

Why would you expect more in a remote, sad little place like Elliot Lake?
__________________________________________

“The performance of the would-be rescuers at Elliot Lake was shameful.

“When I think of the hundreds of firemen, police, EMS personnel and others who risked, and lost, their lives…”

Sorry, but you cannot judge that unless you were on the spot.

The average policeman, day in-day out, risks almost nothing – the stats on fatalities in police work show it to be far, far safer than many industrial jobs, including oil-well roughnecks.

Firemen face a good deal more hazard than police according to stats.

Rescue workers are not expected in the normal course of their efforts to risk their lives.

This structure was rotten when standing. Who knows the risks faced in rummaging through the remains?

You can’t blame them.

Any blame belongs to the owner and town officials who were reluctant to push for repairs.

It’s all a terrible case of passing the buck.

And so far as the same writer’s comparison to 9/11, it is ridiculous.

Virtually none of those New York rescuers expected a tower could collapse.

Yes, there were the usual risks of smoke and fire, but firemen are equipped for that.

The towers were said to be virtually impossible to knock down, actually designed to take an airline collision.

When they did collapse, it was totally unexpected.

And, by the way, still unexplained.

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