The new Tory majority in Canada is redefining "compassionate conservativism": Public Safety Minister Vic Toews initially refused to send more troops to help victims of the flood in Quebec's Richelieu Valley because "the services you are requesting, if they were authorized, would place the Canadian Forces in competition with the private sector at the local and provincial level which could accomplish this type of reintegration work."
The province said more soldiers were needed to help communities deal with water levels that were receding more slowly than expected and also to eventually remove heavy sandbags.
"As you can appreciate the role of the Canadian Forces is mainly centred on defence activities and therefore they must maintain a capacity in this area to deal with other events should they occur in the country or abroad. Moreover the services you are requesting, if they were authorized, would place the Canadian Forces in competition with the private sector at the local and provincial level which could accomplish this type of reintegration work," Mr. Toews stated in a letter dated May 20 in response to his Quebec counterpart Robert Dutil's request for more help.
Ottawa initially refuses request for more troops to aid Quebec flood victims
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