H1N1 scare needs leadership

Staff ~ The Amherst Citizen
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First off, a clarification. In last week's editorial, "Remembering Doug Robinson", a reference to "the likes of Stan Blenkhorn, John Harroun and David 'Pidge' Morris" was merely to demonstrate the wide range of personalities that were on that particular council. No negative connotations were intended towards any of those three gentlemen.

Despite all of the hardship Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has faced in recent weeks, one has to give him credit for his proper handling of the H1N1 matter, particularly during this week's emergency debate in the House of Commons.
Unlike other Liberals, Ignatieff did not take advantage of the widespread fear among Canadians to politicize the issue, but rather asked pointed questions that deserved straight answers.
Following Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq's speech in the debate, the Opposition leader asked her why the government waited until Aug. 6 to order the H1N1 vaccine, what guarantee is there that the vaccine supply will not be interrupted again, and will she accept responsibility for the situation?
Compared to Bob Rae's suggestion that H1N1 deaths should be blamed on poor government response, or party president Alf Apps's assertion that the government is trying to save money by limiting the vaccine, Ignatieff's behaviour has been reasonable. Aglukkaq's handling of this file has given the impression of someone in over her head, and pointing that out is the responsibility of the Opposition.
Perhaps even more vital than the vaccine right now is proper information for Canadians. That will come not from blaming the provinces nor the private supplier, but from leadership.

Organizations: House of Commons

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