Canadians, so it is said, are tough. That’s on account of how our founding fathers and mothers struggled mightily with the brutal cold, snow, wind, sleet, frost, drizzle — not to mention wolves, mountain lions, grizzly bears, wolverines, badgers and so on. It is mystifying — stupefying even — to hear the chorus of caterwauling in Europe from Canadians stranded by the Great Ash Cloud.
Here’s what we know: Hundreds, perhaps several hundred, are marooned in England. Two hundred appeared at the Canadian High Commission in London Monday to ask for help getting home.
The British government has sent the Royal Navy to rescue its people from the continent, where they’ve been suffering privations too horrible to imagine — showers with no pressure, unpasteurized cheese, excessive garlic ... the list goes on.
It’s no fun being stranded abroad and having your holidays arbitrarily extended by fate. No doubt some Canadians trapped in Europe or the U.K. are worried now about their pocketbooks — extra hotel bills, phone bills, car rentals and so on.
It’s unfortunate that this Icelandic volcano blew up, making air travel unsafe.
If Canadians are not at risk, that is to say if life and limb are not on the line, then the government has no obligation to evacuate them at taxpayer expense. If stranded tourists wish to get home by boat they have that option. They should purchase a private ticket on a boat.
The Canadian military is not a ferry service. Canadian citizenship is not a universal insurance policy against inconvenience or misfortune.