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So, her family wants the government to pay to fly her body home. They are trying to raise the funds to retreive her body (appx. $12k), but if/when they do, they need to transport it to Toronto. I don't know how much it will cost.. I cannot imagine it would be earth shattering though.
Foreign Affairs (who they are appealing to) does have a policy of paying to transport bodies where a Canadian dies on foreign soil. So, in that regard, they are within their right to ask.
Would you want your tax dollars to pay for this? There is a controversy over the issue. Many Canadians are saying they wouldn't have an issue with the FA policy for someone who dies as a result of an accident or foul play.. but they feel this woman took a calculated risk and aren't keen to pay to bring her body home. I read that there was a poll showing 98% of people oppose the govt paying for it.
I"ll be honest... No, I wouldn't want our tax money paying for this. Why, I"m sure she knew the risk before doing it. Yes, it is horrible for the family but she knew the risk and i"m sure her family did too.
There was a big uproar about the Everest climb that week. More people were allowed up the mountain than deemed safe and there was a 'traffic jam' that delayed climbers and many ran out of oxygen. I don't feel this was the climbers fault solely. Yes she knew the risks, just like we all do when we step on an airplane or get on a coaster. I think the Gov't should suck it up and pay to fly her body home. It's the right thing to do.
The frugal part of me feels like it should be the family's responsibility. However, I'd hate to see anyone unable to get a family member's body home when it is already the government's policy to step in and make sure it happens. So, I'm going to say that it's the right thing to do for the government to do this little thing to help the family.
I know $12k sounds like a lot, but honestly, it's a tiny drop in the bucket in the budget of a federal government. Canada's population is currently estimated at over 34,000,000. It's a fraction of a penny per Canadian. Even if you assume only half of those are tax paying adults, it's still less than a penny. Honestly, I'm willing to donate my penny to that family.
__________________ Ashley, mommy to Mackenzie 01/01/08
Ironically, CBC just posted a correction/update. According to the husband, the person quoted in the original story mispoke and the family is not planning to ask for the government's help.
On a side note, I do think limits should be set as to how many climbers can be on the mountain at any given time. I think the figure I read was a permit costs $25k. Big money for their government. However, they need to ensure that there isn't a bottleneck of traffic like there was in this case. It's risky enough to climb!
Since the policy exists, then I think the gov needs to foot the bill. It could start to get complicated if there needs to be a distinction made for deaths caused by high risk activities because the definition of high risk is very subjective.