THUNDER BAY – Premier Dalton McGuinty has demonstrated leadership over the collapse of the mall in Elliot Lake. The terrible event happened on Saturday. By Sunday the Premier had issued his first statement on the tragic event.
When word came that the rescue effort was being turned into a recovery effort, Dalton McGuinty said, “Ontarians have been hoping and praying that rescuers could reach any survivors in the rubble of the collapsed Algo Mall in Elliot Lake. Today, we learned that the remaining structure has de-stabilized further. Authorities on the scene believe it has become extremely difficult to predict whether it may collapse and that further rescue efforts could endanger the lives of the rescuers”.
The Premier adds, “I have spoken to Emergency Management Ontario and the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team and have instructed them to determine if there is any other way possible to reach any victims without endangering our rescuers, including the use of equipment to dismantle the building from the exterior. I believe we owe it to the families waiting for word of their loved ones to leave no stone unturned. We owe that to the people of Elliot Lake too. Ontarians expect nothing less.”
The Premier’s efforts are being credited with the rescue effort being continued.
It is a move that demonstrates the power of the Premier in making sure that the right things are done during an emergency.
When Premier McGuinty remained silent over the flooding issue in Thunder Bay, and did not issue any statements, he was the subject of a critical editorial titled, “Hey Dalton, remember Thunder Bay?”
While some may have thought that criticism was a partisan shot at Premier McGuinty, what it really was directed at was how the Premier of the province can impact a crisis.
Right now in Thunder Bay the flood waters have receded. the bulk of the clean-up is underway, and what is needed are the required funds to make things as whole as possible in the lives of the many people in our city who continue to be impacted by the flooding disaster.
The Premier’s office offers direction and leadership for the people of Ontario. In Thunder Bay, a small city with a giant heart, the fundraising efforts are continuing slowly to gather all the money needed.
Had the Premier stepped up as the situation became known, more people across Ontario, and across Canada would have known about the damage in Thunder Bay, and in the efforts needed to help. We are almost a month past the flooding, but things are not over yet.
Watching how effective Dalton McGuinty has been in Elliot Lake, one has to wonder why he was so ineffective in addressing the emergency in Thunder Bay?