Don Cherry tweeted “Are we nuts?” in objection to the millions of dollars in aid money that Canada sends to Haiti, setting off a controversy and attracting anger to the outspoken hockey commentator.
Cherry, the host of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, made his thoughts known through a series of tweets asking why Ottawa was sending aid to the Caribbean nation.
During the rebuilding, Haiti receives foreign aid from a number of nations. The Canadian International Development Agency says Canada gave close to $49.5 million to Haiti in 2010-2011.
“You know, I am one of those guys, like most people in Canada, we like to help the countries all over the world. But sometimes it makes you wonder,” Cherry tweeted under his handle @CoachsCornerCBC.
He went on:
“Maybe it’s just me. But Canada gave Haiti 49.5 million dollars last year. Are we nuts?”
His remarks come at a bad time, just five days before the third anniversary of a a massive earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people and destroyed homes of 1.5 million others. Haiti is still trying to rebuild.
But Don Cherry’s commentary and “Are we nuts?” declaration weren’t exclusively for Haiti. He also aimed criticism at Canada, calling out its ineffective health care system.
“We’ve got a guy dying in Toronto waiting 3 hours for an ambulance,” Cherry tweeted to his 118,000 followers.
“We got people waiting 7, 8, 10 hours, if they’re lucky, in a waiting room with one doctor for a zillion people.
“We nickel and dime our doctors, nurses and veterans plus a million other services. Yet we can send almost 50 million to Haiti.”
Don Cherry’s “Are we nuts?” remark may not have been from him alone, the Canadian Press noted. A message on his Twitter account said the statements came from both Cherry and his friend Kathy Broderick, a friend and producer on Hockey Night in Canada.