Our parliamentarians returned to Ottawa this week and the House of Commons re-opened. After a highly eventful summer, which repeatedly showed the need for the House to be re-opened earlier, I was actually surprised to see parliamentarians bandying about simple questions about the price of gas, and other issues that, while they need addressing, surely are second rate to major questions about our public safety.
Where were the questions about disaster planning and emergency evacuation plans, especially in light of the fact that hurricanes Katrina and Rita showed the Americans weren't ready?
Where were the questions about last spring's announcement of the re-organization of National Defence Headquarters into an organization ready to respond to natural and man-made disasters, as well as terrorist attacks?
Where were the questions about how the re-organization is going, and the timeliness of the planned completion in late Spring 2006?
Where were the questions about what happens if an emergency comes up before that completion date, and for that matter, how will the reorganization suit emergency and public safety needs?
Oh, the price of gas is high. I guess that's something every politician can agree on, and perhaps why the first day addressed little else.
I'm shaking my head over what's been happening in the U.S., but sadly, our Canadian politicians seem to have their heads in the sand as well. They do this at our peril, not theirs, but there is still an election looming on the horizon.
Seeing Uncle Sam with his pants down has proven to be an ugly thing, and I want to make sure Canadians never see Paul Martin the same way.