This Matters

U.S. thanks Canada for relief efforts

Yes, we do. Very much.

Three Canadian warships – the destroyer HMCS Athabaskan, frigates HMCS Ville de Quebec and HMCS Toronto – and the Coast Guard ship Sir William Alexander left Halifax on Tuesday packed with relief supplies, helicopters to deliver them, and about 1,000 Canadian Forces personnel ready for a variety of chores. They are expected to arrive off the U.S. Gulf Coast early next week.

Air Canada provided shuttle flights to help in the evacuation of about 25,000 people from New Orleans to San Antonio, Texas. The airline also used an Airbus passenger jet to fly a cargo of bottled water and relief supplies to New Orleans.

Canadian military planes have transported Canadian Red Cross and government officials to work in the disaster areas. Some 35 Canadian military divers are helping with inspecting dikes and clearing waterways. A shipment of supplies requested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has arrived in Atlanta from Canada. Donations are pouring in from the provinces.

The Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue Team quickly got down to work in St. Bernard Parish, about 30 kilometres east of New Orleans, rescuing 119 stranded people before the U.S. military took over this week. The team has returned to Vancouver, basking in plaudits from grateful Americans.