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Monday, July 18, 2005

The Yankees are Coming, The Yankees are Coming!!

The following excerpts are from a July 13 Department of Fisheries and Oceans press release:

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) are initiating joint marine security and law enforcement patrols along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River…

"… This partnership will help protect these important waterways in areas of national security as well as in the prevention of organized crime," said Mauril Belanger, Minister for Internal Trade and Associate Minister of National Defence….

This initiative is a component of the Government of Canada's announcement in April of a $300 million, five-year package designed to further enhance the security of Canada's marine transportation system and maritime borders.

Hold on one second, back up the turnip cart just a minute and let me get this straight.

The government is beefing up security on the great lakes in order to protect our borders. Do they think we are going to be invaded by the Americans?

Head for the hills everyone, the Yankees are coming, the Yankees are coming.

Here’s a message to the federal brain trust in Ottawa. If the Americans decide to invade us, all of us had better run our tidy whities up the flag pole ‘cause we’ll have about 2 minutes to drop our guns and get our hands in the air.

All kidding aside, I understand that in a post 911 world we need to strengthen our security. I also know that illegal drug pipelines need to be shut down, but is this the best place to spend hundreds of millions of dollars?

This country has approximately 250,000 or a quarter of a million kilometers of largely unprotected and often unpopulated coastline. Who is protecting that? Who will keep terrorists from entering Canada by boat and moving freely across the country? As far as organized crime prevention, who will stop the movement of drugs, illegal cigarettes and alcohol up and down our coastline?

Just a couple of weeks ago there was a boat captured off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador with a cargo of $120 million dollars worth of drugs. How many like this are plying our coasts and moving drugs quietly across the country from east to west or visa versa?

Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to protect these coasts rather than cruising around the great lakes, an area where people are already inside Canada or the US? One would think, from a terrorist perspective, anyone already roaming about in either of these countries should have been identified and perhaps already be under surveillance or investigation.

The plan to enhance protection in the great lakes and the St. Lawrence will have the effect of protecting Canadian people from American people and American people from Canadian people. After all, these are the only two countries bordering those areas. So much for the world’s longest unprotected border, I guess we just don’t trust our neighbour’s anymore.

It would seem to me that a better approach to marine security and drug enforcement might be to stop as many of these low life criminals as possible from getting into our respective countries in the first place. The airports of both countries have already beefed up security to prevent just that, but what about our ocean approaches?

By protecting the waters off our shores rather than the water inside our borders, wouldn’t we help close this entry point to foreign terrorists, disrupt drug pipelines and, as added benefits, reduce the incidence of foreign vessels illegally fishing in our waters while providing added functionality and ability in maritime rescue/response services.

I don’t believe anyone in our government, or for that matter any right thinking person, knows how the terrorist mind really works. That is not to say that politicians are necessarily right thinking. Never the less, I would be willing to bet that the powers that be have looked at this issue and decided that Central Canada would be the most likely target for terrorist attacks. I also know that the drug trade in places like Ontario and Quebec is a major concern. I can’t disagree with these points and far be it from me to question the motives of our government on this issue. My problem is not with the motives but with the solution adopted.

Even if the suppositions of our government are correct and Central Canada is a target for terror, wouldn’t it be better if terrorists are prevented from ever getting close to these areas? Wouldn’t it also be better if drugs were not allowed to land on our secluded beaches and be trucked in from the coastal provinces? Wouldn’t this approach provide the people of Central Canada with a higher level of comfort than letting the bad guys stroll right onto their doorstep before we try to stop them?

I’m no security or military genius. I don’t know a lot about terrorist tactics or public protection, but I do know one thing. If someone was out to get me, I’d much rather have him hundreds or even thousands of miles away than have him knocking on my door and hoping the boys in blue were going to show up in the nick of time. Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the political types on Ottawa have watched enough episodes of NYPD Blue to know exactly what they’re doing.


Mike said...

Its just more political grand standing. They get more press from putting the patrols in a more populated area. Afterall, its more important to the bone heads in Ottawa to be seen as doing something rather than to actually put the patrols in the right place and actually do something.

Anonymous said...

A Cause For The Righteous Progressives Of Toronto

CBC News: Nfld. fishermen welcome charges:.

One fisherman who wasn't charged said he wished he had been.

"This is what we were aiming for," said Port aux Basque fisherman Stuart Pearce.

"Myself, personally, I was hoping to be charged, and I hope I am, so we can get in the court and fight this on a step-by-step basis," he said.

"If we inundate the courts with these charges, I'm hoping sooner or later that somebody's going to strike down that fact, that we're not born poachers," said Pearce.

The fate of the disenfranchised onshore fishermen of Newfoundland may be a little too domestic for the professional dissenters in the big city.

On a possibly optimistic note however, Heather Mallick, a prime source of urban self-righteousness did confess, in passing , to living in Port Aux Basques when she was testifying to her gushing worship of Pierre Trudeau, one of the arrogant architects of the foreign policy of contempt, indifference and scorn that destroyed the fishery.

For the Liberal sycophants and apologists who like to blame our own fishermen for the waste, I say that your morbid hero-worship is symptomatic of the deflection of responsibility typical of your party and the conceited class of ambitious office seekers who keep it in power.


Posted by Barry Stagg on Aug 06, 2005 at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)