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Friday, January 19, 2007

Ottawa Puts Out Welcome Mat on Atlantic Border

Once again we have elected a federal government capable of paying down debt to the tune of billions of dollars yet unwilling to protect our ocean borders from illegal fishing, potential terrorist incursions or even a full scale invasion. Thank goodness nobody cares enough about this Country to bother attacking it because if they did the military response would likely take days to arrive from the U.S.

Reports surfaced this week that the Canadian navy vessel HMCS Halifax was tied up in port rather than taking part in scheduled fisheries and security patrols on the east coast. The ship had been scheduled to help catch foreign illegal fishers and ensure that the nation’s eastern flank was secure from attack. Unfortunately, due to a lack of federal funding, this didn’t happen. The federal government simply didn’t believe this activity was important enough to spend our tax dollars. It wasn’t until the story hit the newswires that some "limited" funding became available for a belated patrol.

This situation may sound strange to people across the Country, as it should, but here in Newfoundland and Labrador it’s doesn’t surprise anyone in the least. Fisheries protection has never been a priority for Ottawa, neither has the protection of the east coast of the Country. When it comes to fisheries issues the government of Canada sees the resource as nothing more than a way to broker trade deals with nations around the globe. The prize is for Canada is improved trade relations, for other Countries it means open access to fish stocks and a free pass to rape our oceans.

Militarily the east coast of Canada hasn’t been on Ottawa’s radar since the end of the cold war. There is practically no military presence in Newfoundland and Labrador, which essentially accounts for Canada’s entire Atlantic coastal border. The only military base of any consequence is in Labrador and it's served as nothing more than a political football for years. Politicians have used it time and time again as a way win votes in the province. They usually do this by promising that the base will once again become an integral part of the Canadian military, yet today it remains in a virtual limbo where on a daily basis, and depending on who you ask, it will soon become either fully utilized or shut down. It’s anybody’s guess.

When it comes to military protection of our nation the entire system is a joke. It makes me think that the national anthem itself may need a little tweaking so it more accurately reflects the true state of Canada today. I’m thinking something along the lines of, “Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee, but not east of Quebec” or perhaps something like, “From Sea to shining St. Lawrence River”. Hey, it works for me.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the Armed Forces here in Newfoundland and I have to say that I find your sarcasm in very poor taste.
You do make a valid point here and there but don't assume to attack Ottawa about military funding when you are not directly involved in decision making.
The military has faired far better since Harper was elected than it has for years, and petty jealousies about which part of the country gets more money and/or attention is pretty sad.
I appreciate what you are trying to say but the Armed Forces works as a single unit.....it is not broken up into "favoured" regions like the provinces are. You may think that no one is thinking about security in this country...ie. coastal monitoring...but I assure you that this is very far from the truth.

Thank you,
A Newfoundland Sergeant (RNR)

Patriot said...

To "Newfoundland Sergeant (RNR)":

Thank-you for your comment. I usually don't respond to most comments as I would rather let the readers of this site hash things out, share ideas or whatever the decide to do. I felt however that a response is warranted in this case.

First of all let me say that I agree with your comment that the military has done better (at least financially) from the Conservative governemnt than it did in the past. That aside, (whether you feel my comments are in poor taste or not), I cannot agree with you that the military is not broken up into "favoured" regions like provinces. In fact I feel just the opposite.

I don't blame the military itself but I do blame the political leaders in this Country. It's quite clear to anyone that military bases are very often placed where the employment and financial benefits they bring with them will curry the most favour at election time.

This is easy to see when you consider that while Goosebay is not an active base (in any real sense of the word) rapid response aircraft based in Quebec (a much more vote rich area) stop to refuel in Labrador before continuing on to respond to threats over the Atlantic. How much time would be saved if this did not have to happen?

I also believe the members of the military are doing the best they can and have no doubt they are working hard to do the job but that doesn't mean that the real decisions on where things happen are controlled by them.

I'm sorry if you take exception to my commentary but I stand by it and I stand by my belief that if the government of Canada were doing what it should do to ensure the sovereignty of our oceans and borders they would have a much larger military presence on the fringes of all our coasts not just where it makes the most political sense to setup shop.

Once again, thank-you for your comments and thank-you for serving your Country in the military.

Anonymous said...

What does protecting our resources have to do with military budgets? Why are we fighting in Afghanistan but we can't even patrol our own territorial waters?

I don't buy the "shut up and follow because if you don't you're unpatriotic and you don't support our people in the armed forces" line of argument.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your supportive comments Patriot. I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Your site has always been very informative and often entertaining!!
Keep up the good work.

A Newfoundland Sergeant (RNR)

Anonymous said...

I was listening to a newscast yesterday on international radio of how International Trade is destroying the fisheries of the World. I went to the internet to see if I could find something on that topic and to my surprise when I typed in the words "International Trade destroying fisheries of the world" again I found many articles to support that statement. The newscast that I heard on radio talked about countries having their fisheries tied up in the global trade movement. I am pasting below a site where you can read one such article:

copeland_fish.pdf (510 KB)

Anonymous said...

Well, Well....

"The only military base of any consequence is in Labrador and it's served as nothing more than a political football for years".



If the military base is only used as a "political football" guess who that fact reflects badly on....

Not on the politicians, (they are just doing what they have to do to get elected),...but on the voters.



WHy? I don't know. Maybe voters are not really interested.


Pat.

Anonymous said...

Duck survives two days in fridge
A duck in the US state of Florida has survived gunshot wounds and a two-day stint in a refrigerator.
A hunter shot the duck, wounding it in the wing and leg. Believing the bird was dead, he left it in his fridge at his home in Tallahassee.
The hunter's wife got a fright when she opened the fridge and the duck lifted its head, a local veterinarian said.
Staff at the Goose Creek Animal Sanctuary who are treating the bird said it has a 75% chance of survival.
The plucky duck was taken first to a local animal hospital, and then to an animal sanctuary for more specialised treatment.
A veterinarian at the sanctuary said he thinks the duck will live, but will probably never be well enough to be released into the wild.
The veterinarian, David Hale, said the duck's low metabolism rate helped it survive its time in the refrigerator, the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported.
"This is an extremely tough duck with a lot of spirit to live," he said. "This shows how tough and adaptable wildlife are".
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/6283677.stm

Published: 2007/01/21 01:46:38 GMT

© BBC MMVII

WJM said...

Peter Mackay announces money for border security!

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2007/01/20/mackay-mideast.html

Anonymous said...

Responding to the post by Pat. Yes, it essentiallygets down to who the voters support "federally". The voters of that district in Labrador have to keep their representatives feet to the fire, in this case I be lieve it is Todd Russell. Prior to the next federal election, the people of that district need to pigeon hole all runners for a commitment viv-a-vis the base.

Regards,
Artfull Dodger

Tiffany said...

""Yes definitely"" the voters are ultimately to blame for not putting the pressure on the politicians, who are representing them, to keep their promises. Why do we, as voters, continue to vote politicians in who are as useless as teats on a bull? They get into office promising us the Moon, the Stars and the Universe, and just like their predecessors, once they are in power they will not go against the ruling government, no matter whether it is provincial or federal and no matter what flavour of political party they represent. What is up with that type of behaviour? Are the Liberal politicians afraid that the Conservatives won't get back into power, and then the onus will be on them to deliver on something that they know is an empty promise by the current Prime Minister; and the promise will not be kept if the Liberals get back into power? Labrador was promised a contingency of 650 military personnel, and why aren’t Todd Russell and the other six politicians, 4 Liberals and 3 Conservatives in total, lobbying the Federal Government every day to see that this contingency is placed in Goose Bay? The Prime Minister made this promise and why isn't he keeping it, and why are those politicians keeping his feet to the fire to see that he does? WJM - you are very knowledgable on Ottawa's affairs, so I am summoning your knowledge on this one, why does this happen over and over again with promises made during election-time to this province? WJM you seem to have an answer for everything concerning Ottawa's action and non-actions. I would love to have a report on this particular problem that occurs to this province all the time when there are promises made.

WJM said...

WJM - you are very knowledgable on Ottawa's affairs, so I am summoning your knowledge on this one, why does this happen over and over again with promises made during election-time to this province?

Perhaps for the same reasons it happens over and over again with promises made during provincial election-time to Labrador!

WJM you seem to have an answer for everything concerning Ottawa's action and non-actions.

You can ask Stephen Harper and Gordon O'Connor why they aren't keeping their Labrador promises.

You should also, while you're at it, ask Chairman Dan why it is he thinks chip-sealing the road from Wabush to Happv Valley constitutes "completing" the Trans-Labrador Highway.

Tiffany said...

I agree with you WJM 100 per cent that chip-sealing the road from Wabush to Happy Valley is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. It should be completed and paved from the southern-most tip of Labrador to the northern-most tip of Labrador. Labradorians deserve to have that road paved and it should be paved as quickly as possible. But unfortunately WJM, I absolutely exercise NO control over Premier Danny Williams, if I did you can be assured , that road would be paved as soon as possible. I am doing my part by threading to this blog by trying to influence him, I do hope that the Premier reads these blog sites. PREMIER WILLIAMS if you happen to read this blog site, would you please hurry and get the road completed from the turn off to Cartwright to the remainder of the beautiful biggest part of our province Labrador, Labrador needs to be connected in the middle and then paved. If anybody who knows or is an acquaintance of the Premier should happen to read this blog, would he/she please inform the Premier that there is a request here for him. I do hope WJM that our requests will be met, it has been too long already. WJM - I also think we now have the best Premier that we ever have had, and I do hope he can get things moving for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in a forward looking way. First things first thought and the completion and the paving of the Labrador Highway if foremost on my list.

Anonymous said...

Just a comment...

It is time to stop electing liberals and Tories

WHy are people afraid to vote NDP?

Can't be worse than the liberals and conservatives of the past.

Who knows, maybe it would be good.

Just my 2 cents.
Pat

WJM said...

It should be completed and paved from the southern-most tip of Labrador to the northern-most tip of Labrador.

Why would you build a road to the northern-most tip of Labrador? I wouldn't. There is no permanent population, and a lot of unspoiled wilderness, north of Nain. It is, and should be, roadless.

But unfortunately WJM, I absolutely exercise NO control over Premier Danny Williams,

No one has, nor should they have, "control".

But you do have influence.

Email him:

premier@gov.nl.ca

and ask him to put money into the TLH, WITHOUT making it contingent on federal funds. Point out that 90% of the money that's ever been spent on the TLH has been federal, and that it's time for his government to come to the table, no strings attached. Ask him whether he truly believes Labrador is an "integral part of the province", or whether it's "minute".

WJM said...

It makes me think that the national anthem itself may need a little tweaking so it more accurately reflects the true state of Canada today. I’m thinking something along the lines of, “Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee, but not east of Quebec” or perhaps something like, “From Sea to shining St. Lawrence River”. Hey, it works for me.

You mean, the way Newfoundlanders say "across the province from St. John's to Port aux Basques" or "St. John's to St. Anthony" or "all across this island"?

Anonymous said...

WJM, I see you're still trolling forms with whining Labrador rants. If you care for Labrador so much, why do you live in Ontario? Try moving home man, getting out of Ontario was the best move my family ever made. I find the clean air takes away the bitterness.

kodak said...

Tiffany, earlier this week I posted a blog on the importance of the TLH, plus a Letter to Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador, encouraging them to lobby government to speed up the TLH completion. Feel free to copy the letter if you are interested, here's my blog site:
http://www.newfinland.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

ANON ; 1/21/07/11:32 P.M.---- WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE TO YOU WHERE WJM LIVES? YOU STILL WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING HES STATING. THIS IS OBVIOUS BY THE REPLIES YOU MAKE, IE: ( YOUR MOST RECENT DIRTY SLUR) CAN'T YOU AT LEAST SAY SOMETHING THAT MAKES SENSE? GOOD FOR ONTARIO AS WELL,IT SEEMS. IT APPEARS YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS BACK WHERE YOU BELONG.(AND THE "CLEAN AIR" TOOK AWAY YOUR BITTERNESS?? WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO KID????!!!!! ITS PRETTY CLEAR YOUR BITTERNESS HAS FOLLOWED YOU TO WHEREVER YOU ARE NOW. GET A LIFE,YOU POOR THING. LEAVE CERTAIN ISSUES TO FOLKS WHO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.

WJM said...

Try moving home man, getting out of Ontario was the best move my family ever made. I find the clean air takes away the bitterness.

The clean air where?

I have yet to hear any evidence that the air in Newfoundland de-bitters anyone or anything. The exact opposite could well be true, if the VOCM call-in shows and this blog are anything to go on.

MUN should do a study.

Pedestrian said...

Dude, it's a bunch of Rednecks on the fringes of the Metro Area, start a twine ball if your this boerd.

Anonymous said...

WJM, you listen to VOCM call in shows often? I wish I had your free time!


Regards,
Artfull Dodger