Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Frog's fedora...

Good things from North of the boarder –
A tip of the Frog's Fedora to

John the Mad

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Divers and support staff from Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific) will depart tomorrow morning [today, as I post this] to join up with their US Navy counterparts in Pensacola, Florida. The 18 member diving team, under the supervision of Naval Lieutenant Todd Dupuis, will be deploying as part of Operation UNISON, the Canadian Forces? contribution to relief efforts in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

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WINNIPEG – Canada’s Air Force is sending two CH-146 Griffon helicopters to assist the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in covering the Boston Search and Rescue (SAR) area of responsibility (AOR) over the long weekend.The two Griffons are from 444 Combat Support (CS) Squadron, 5 Wing Goose Bay, NL. and from 439 (CS) Squadron, 3 Wing Bagotville, Que. Five aircrew personnel from each Squadron and maintenance personnel from 444 (CS) Squadron are headed to Air Station Cape Cod, MA, where they will provide SAR support to USCG District one (Boston) who deployed five of their six H60 Jayhawk helicopters to the flood relief duties in the Southern USA.?We are happy to help in any way that we can,? said Major-General Charlie Bouchard, Commander, 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region. ?This is just an extension of the positive relationship that already exists between the Canadian and U.S. SAR communities and we are prepared to support them beyond the long weekend if the need exists.?

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Canada is sending thousands of beds, blankets, surgical gloves and dressings and other medical supplies to the hurricane-ravaged U.S. Gulf Coast. "This is the beginning of an integrated effort," Dr. Howard Njoo of the Public Health Agency of Canada said at a news conference on Sunday. "This is just a starting point of what we can give to our American friends." The agency is sending the relief in response to an official request from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Njoo said within the next 24 hours, the supplies will be airlifted to a distribution centre in the southern U.S. and, from there, will be directed to the areas they're most needed. The supplies come from the stockpiles kept on hand by Canadian authorities to respond to disaster situations.

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Three Canadian warships, a coast guard vessel and three Sea King helicopters will be sent to Louisiana on Tuesday with relief supplies for the U.S. Gulf Coast.The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir William Alexander will sail along with the Canadian Navy vessels, HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Ville De Quebec and HMCS Toronto. Naval crews were busy loading gear on to the ships in Halifax Friday as 1,000 personnel prepared to head to waters off New Orleans.Commodore Dean McFadden, who will command the deployment, said they were consulting with their American counterparts to determine what they will do during the expected month-long mission. He suggested duties would involve reconstruction, health care and humanitarian aid.

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From the website of the Canadian Department of National Defence these words from General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Canadian Defence Staff.13h30 - September 1, 2005Gen. Rick Hillier: Well, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and thank you for being here. We wanted to provide some opportunity to at least let you know from the Canadian Forces' perspective, for whom I speak, where we are in this tragedy.Let me first say, ladies and gentlemen, that our closest allies and our friends and our neighbours are living in a tragedy beyond anything that we probably would have imagined would visit the shores of this continent. A minute by minute tragedy visited on tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of souls down there and, by an extension of course the nation and the continent. And we want to help and we believe that that's what being friends and allies is about, being ready to help in time of need.As a personal note I'll say that as General Rick Hillier during my time living in the southern United States in 1998 to 2000 I spent a significant amount of time in Louisiana doing training exercises and events in preparation in Fort Polk just north of New Orleans itself and participated in New Orleans in June of 2000 in the opening of the D-Day Museum. So my family and I watched those pictures from video and see those things in print and the pictures in the newspapers and our thoughts and our prayers go out to all those involved. We want to help you. Our thoughts and our prayers are with you.

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Question: General Hillier, Roger Smith from CTV. There have been a lot of strong and angry words between Canada and the United States in recent weeks over softwood. The prime minister has been criticized for not speaking out more quickly publicly about the hurricane and offering Canada's condolences. Could Canadians be excused for thinking that this whole offer, public offer of help today is a little bit of PR to try to help improve relations between the two countries?Gen. Rick Hillier: Roger, let me just tell you from my perspective as the Chief of Defence Staff in the Canadian Forces our offer of help representing I know what our government is supporting and what Canadians want also is absolutely genuine and from the heart. These are our neighbours. They are our friends and they are our allies. And if they are in need and if we can fill a part of the requirement to mitigate and diminish that need then we're prepared to do so. That is not a public relations piece from us. It is genuine from the heart. We know, we have confidence if conditions were reversed they would be the first to step up to help us if we needed it and I think that we as neighbours, as friends, as allies, as family on the continent, if you will, North Americans, we're ready to do exactly the same with them and I think that's not only our responsibility, that's probably our passion also.[Emphasis is mine] Read the whole press conference here.

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Kermit sez (croakingly) – “For a complete update on Canadian assistance in this time of need, please visit John the Mad …”


At Sun Sep 11, 01:10:00 PM, Blogger John the Mad said...

Hang in there buddy. Like you I've been stunned into silence. My opinions are not forthcoming because my emotions are so raw. Prayer is good.

One thing is for sure. I'm getting right royally pissed at those who seem to want to use this disaster to score political points. Canada is infested by morons who are anti-American, but the broad swath of people here are not like that. We see the US south on its knees and want to lend a helping hand.

Bush bashers ought to be roasted on a slow spit. (Sorry, lost it there for a moment. Serenity now. Serenity now.)

You Texans are amazing. Look at what is happening in the Lone Star State. Good people Texans. I really enjoyed San Antonio when I was there last year.

We all must help in any way we can. Americans do that when others are in need for it is just your nature. Generous and decent.

America is a great nation Kermit and Americans are a great people. Like 9/11 you'll pull through this one taller and stronger than before. In the meantime, it's roll up the sleeves and put on the gumboots time. God bless.

At Sat Dec 10, 01:11:00 PM, Anonymous Todd Dupuis said...


I just wanted to thank you for making information about our efforts available on your blog. I am Lieutenant Todd Dupuis and I led the Canadian dive team deployed to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast for disaster relief efforts. It was an amazing experience and had a profound effect on my life. The people of the hardest hit areas were incredibly generous, optimistic and grateful. I continue to be impressed by the resolve of the American people....

Take care,



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