Straight Talk
PETER WORTHINGTON - Cherry's right — we're nuts for giving $50M to Haiti



Don Cherry thinks we are “nuts” to be giving some $50 million to Haiti when there are people in Canada who also need help.

His remarks sparked comment from a number of sources, but basically he is right.

Looked at objectively and without rancour, Haiti is a basket case.

Yes, the 2010 earthquake was tragic and unexpected and killed upwards of 300,000, followed by 7,500 deaths from cholera due to bad sewage disposal.

That said, Haiti today shows few signs of improvement from then.

Some 350,000 are still living in emergency tents — refugees in their own land.

If Cherry (and others) think dumping another $50 million into Haiti is nuts, what does he think of the $1 billion Canada has spent there since 2006?

In its nicely-nicely way, Canada gently chides the hopelessness of Haiti. Julian Fantino, minister of international co-operation, says: “We expect accountability, we expect transparency and we expect tangible results for those in most need.”

Well, he can “expect” until the cows come home, but he ain’t going to get it from Haiti — the world’s largest recipient of Canadian aid which, arguably, achieves little.

Want to know how hopeless Haiti is? Look at the island Haiti shares with Dominican Republic — also poor, but not hopeless.

The Dominican side is lush with greenery. Jungle and forest. The Haitian side is barren, all foliage long since destroyed. It is mindful of the desert. It is heartbreaking. And sad.

The hopelessness of Haiti is not Haitians.

Those who leave Haiti for the U.S. or Canada do well, are productive, as able and responsible as any. And they, too, send money back to the homeland, and god knows what happens to it.

There is no shortage of aid workers in Haiti. Maybe 10,000 of them, according to reports — all presumably being paid adequately from the billions of dollars pledged after the earthquake.

That’s a problem with foreign aid — or too much of the wrong kind.

It encourages dependency — someone else will do what has to be done.

Haitians resent the foreign invasion of their county, cursed as their country is with corrupt and incompetent politicians. It is up to Haitians to save themselves and end the decades of being a beggar nation.

Right now there’s little indication of improvement.

Until there’s some sign of energy and self-reliance, Don Cherry is right — we are “nuts” to keep pumping money into a bottomless trough.

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