Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hide and Seek

You'd think at least one of our 308 MP's would want to champion M-635 to help volunteer firefighters. And even though I lean toward political cynicism, I believe there is one out there in our vast country full of good people. . . somewhere. The trick is finding him or her.

It isn't like I can just show up on Parliament Hill and say, "Um, excuse me Mr. Speaker, I need to interrupt your very important business and ask these fine ladies and gentlemen a question," and then begin a Martin Luther King style diatribe on the worthy cause of volunteer firefighterism, until the bouncers hauled me out kicking and screaming, "You'll be sorry when you have bad luck for seven years, or when your rich uncle refuses to keel over and leave you his fortune . . . !" Scratch that idea.

Alternately, I could take a year or two off work and track the MP's down one by one until I found a kindred spirit, but I'm not not sure the government would allow me to live off welfare while I'm out pounding the pavement asking them for money for volunteer firefighters.

Another plan would be to send out 306 emails inviting MP's to advance the motion, and hope that the Parliament spam filters aren't working. I wouldn't need to send 308 emails because John Rafferty already supports the motion, and Stephen Harper would likely have to disinfect his computer if he found an email in support of an NDP motion in his inbox.

I didn't really mean that part about Stephen Harper. It was the political cynic side of my personality talking. I truly believe that once our venerated leaders see the need, they will drop their rivalries faster than they dropped their promises at election time, join hands in true bipartisan cooperation, and work together to create a workable solution for volunteer fire departments that won't break the budget. Except the budget is already broken.

Wow. The effort to combat my inner cynic is crumbling like a Dutch apple pie crust. Now would be a good time to make a snarky remark about political pie in the sky, but I'm trying to reform myself.

On the bright side, Laura King over at
Firefighting in Canada has posted a link to my sample MP letter on the magazine's Facebook page, and people are checking it out . . . which I hope means they are emailing their MP's. And maybe one of those MP's will see the need to advance M-635. And maybe it will move to second and third reading because lots of people wrote their MP's. And maybe it even has a chance to pass a parliamentary vote. And I'm not even going to say anything about pie in the sky because there is nothing I would love more than to see my inner cynic put to rest once and for all.

Bottom line, if you find an MP willing to pick up M-635 where John Rafferty had to leave it off, give him or her a call. Or send me the contact info and I'll give him or her a call. And I promise I won't say anything about bad luck or rich uncles.

Canada's volunteer fire departments aren't the only ones that are struggling. Right in the cradle of volunteer firefighter civilization, a
Pennsylvania department is having trouble keeping its head above water. Once I'm done with Canadian government reform, I may have to pay a visit to the White House and see if I can talk some sense into the Americans. More pie.

Moving on to practical topics, you can see Paul Combs latest work
here and here.

For a story about the pipeline explosion on Saturday near Beardmore,
click here. I don't know anything about the response to the incident, except that the good volunteers of Beardmore were undoubtedly involved.

Thanks to
The Fire Critic, I found a new blog today that looks promising. Check out Just a Vollie.

No comment today about the disaster in New Zealand, or the chaos in Libya. The media is full of news and opinions, and you don't need my two cents.

To round out this menagerie of semi related topics, check out this firefighter tool that was reinvented by a
Connecticut firefighter.


  1. That Ardis tool looks fascinating. I hope they market it aggressively to get it into the hands of firefighters everywhere--it's one of those "latest gimmick" things that's actually useful, could become practically essential to any firefighter's gear, and can catch people's imagination to the point that everyone will know what they are and support the need for them to be included in standard equipment.

    I've heard that paper letters can attract more attention than emails when it comes to getting a point across to politicians, or most other people for that matter. Get your 300 supporters to each send an impassioned "snail mail" plea to that MP, and they will find their overflowing mailbox more difficult to ignore. (They have to open each one individually just to make sure someone isn't sending them money. Right?) But I'll bet you wrote about that in an earlier post that I may have missed.

    I'll be glad to write one myself. Just because I'm an expatriate at the moment does not mean I don't care about the needs of volunteer firemen back home.

  2. Interesting idea about snail mail versus email. I honestly don't know which has more effect, but I do know that more is better.


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