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Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Future of 5 Wing Goose Bay

With the Harper government having broken nearly every promise it ever uttered to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador many are speculating on whether or not the promise to re-invigorate the airbase at Goose Bay will ever be fulfilled.

After nearly three years that hope appears to be dim at best.

Very little has been said on the federal level and the Minister of Defence, Peter MacKay, who incidentally was also named to represent Newfoundland and Labrador’s interests in Cabinet, continues to dodge the issue.

So what does this mean for the future of the town, the base and the people of the area?

It was over the Christmas season, as these thoughts and others were winding their way through my grey matter that I happened upon an article in a small Ontario newspaper that caught my eye.

The story would no doubt attract the interest of anyone concerned about the future of CFB 5 Wing.

The article quoted Federal Conservative MP Rick Norlock saying, “During the 2006 federal election campaign, Conservative leader Stephen Harper promised an airborne unit would be located at the base."

“I’ve been pressing the defence minister to make the announcement. It was part of our campaign platform in 2006 and it’s only appropriate we live up to that commitment.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Could I be dreaming? Did Christmas really come? Was Mr. Harper visited by three ghosts in the night?

Alas this was not to be so.

Perhaps the egg nog had slowed my thought processes or I might have wondered sooner why this fantastic story was being announced in a local Ontario newspaper. Never the less, the truth finally began to sink in.

I’m sure the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador will be happy to hear that Stephen Harper has finally decided to live up to one of his election promises. Unfortunately, for the people of Canada’s most eastern colony, the base being discussed by MP Norlock is not 5 Wing Goose Bay but CFB Trenton, Ontario.

It seems that in Stephen Harper’s world, as it is with most federal leaders, it’s far more important to keep promises made in seat rich Ontario than those made in outpost Newfoundland and Labrador.

In this particular case that promise equates to an investment of nearly $1 billion dollars for new infrastructure, a training center and to move the elite Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) to the Trenton base. It’s a move considered, by the mayor of nearby Quinte, Ontario to be a, “tremendous investment” and one that will, “see tremendous economic spin off for the region”.

The town’s mayor went on to say, “Even before this announcement the federal government was investing millions and millions of dollars at the base. This is great news for the city and great news for the entire region. I don’t think we’ve ever seen this type of federal investment in our area. We're very fortunate.’’

Indeed you are Mr. Mayor. I’m sure the municipal leaders and people in Goose Bay will be glad to hear how great things are going for you.

Congrats and Happy New Year.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is SHOCKING News, given that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador provides the Canadian Military with approximately 10% of the Military Manpower. According to a figure quoted by Mr. Rick Hillier a couple of months ago the Canadian Military is 87,000 strong.

Then given there are 10% of the Military personnel hailing from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, why hasn't the Military placed the small contingency of 659 military personnel in Goose Bay?

The Canadian Military is a large employer in Canada and like the rest of the jobs created by the Federal Government, very little of that LARGE economy ends up in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, despite the large percentage of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in the force.

Also besides the Military being one of the largest employers in Canada, it has to be one of the largest consumers of everything from the bare necessities, like Military clothing, boots, armaments, planes, boats and all types of transport equipment. The consumer goods that are bought on a yearly basis to keep that large behemoth of an economy going certainly augments the economies of the towns where the Military bases are stationed in Canada.

I believe when the Department of National Defence appointed Rick Hillier as their General, they thought that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would be happy with that move and would forego the contingency of 659 military personnel for Goose Bay which was promised to the area.

The reason we are not getting these jobs, as far as I am concerned, is our politicians are too concerned about getting ahead themselves and they don't want to be seen as complainers who are lobbying on behalf of military jobs, the fishing resource and anything else which is pertinent to our province. Newfoundland and Labrador’s politicians are not carrying their weight on our behalf, whereas the politicians of the other provinces are alert at all times and as a result they get their share of whatever the Federal Government delves out.

It is time that we looked into the lackadaisical attitude of our politicians and demanded from them what we elected them for, to make this province a better place economically.

Anonymous said...

the Department of Defence didn't appoint the General. The Prime Minister did.

Surely we should separate from Canada so that we get more jobs from Canada's military.

Better still, we could have a Republic and have our own army! Independence means more armies and more jobs for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I know you are being sarcastic but it would be good to have our own military. Why the hell not.

Anonymous said...

My question is why not put a Military Base with 8,700 on Newfoundland and Labrador territory?

Newfoundland and Labrdor were the most important territories in the whole of North America during World War II for both the United States and Canada to operate a Military Base.

Matter of fact the U.S. had four large Military bases in Newfoundland and Labrador.

So why after the Second Worl War when the threat of attack abated from Germany, and after Canada received Newfoundland and Labrador into the Canadian fold, did the military bases end up augmenting the economies of the other provinces?

Of course, I know why! It is because Military bases provide a great economy for whichever place is lucky to have its presence. The areas where bases are placed are the recipients of hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Why did our Federal politicians not lobby to have at least one Military Base placed in NL? They could have argued tha NL possessed a prime strategic location which had already been proven during the last War and the large number of military personnel, approximately 10%, which are recruited from this province that Goose Bay could have been a great location!

And Anon who wrote "Better still, we could have a Republic and have our own army! Independence means more armies and more jobs for everyone."

Why do you not say that about the other provinces whose economies are augmented with Military bases and those same province were not strategic enough during the Second World War to protect anyone? After all it was the province of Newfoundland and Labrador which served as the protector and it should have been rewarded for doing so with a Military Base and a generous number of Military Personnel.

Anonymous said...

Independence WOULD entail a Self Defence Force, and why would this be a bad thing?

Putting our tax dollars towards defending Newfoundland and her interests (The Grand Banks leap to mind), sounds infinitely more sensible than putting my tax dollars into protecting Thunder Bay, etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

Well patriot let me then be the first to say welcome back and I hope that your Christmas was great and you and yours had a wonderful time.
Again and again Patriot the federal government of Canada has failed its people. Do we really need any more examples of this? Even now, when the people of Labrador need their federal government more than ever, what is its reply? They snub their noses to us and call us beggar’s buts that’s getting assistance when their economy has failed. Ontario.

Now Mr. Holliet over sat the Bond papers will tell you and I that this is not true that we have our “fair share “of Government jobs, yet it is well known that we do not have a military base in the province .We do not even have any great investment in research to restore our once great fishery, and we all know what Mr. Holliet thinks of that. I would like to quite him on this Patriot.

"I can appreciate that you want to protect the past and have a romanticized view on outposts and the fishery. But the taxpayer cannot be there to pick up the pieces every time. These people have to begin to start to invest in themselves, in their own security like lots of other people do who work just as hard in other industries (i.e. non renewable) as people in the fishery. The globe is going through a major adjustment and taking your logic and extrapolating it out then we should be funding the loggers in central, the mill workers in GFW, the business owner’s ad workers in Lab city affected by IOC decisions. The question is where these bailouts end. Anyone can make a case for because they work long hours and work hard but that does not mean the taxpayer should be on the hook every time something goes wrong. Sorry for the late lump of coal this season, but it frustrates me when people always want to make the fishery and the outpost way of life an outlier to something that his happening across the country. People are moving to urban areas for better services (i.e. hospitals etc) and better opportunities for their children."

December 31, 2008 1:58 PM

As I read this Patriot my stomach turned and my head spun. All this coming from a man who has turned his attention to the Abitibi Bowater problems in the province .He actually reminds me of Chicken Little. Running around telling the world that the sky is going to fall and that business confidence is going to crumble in the Province. Is this the kind of influence that we need in our time. Is this the kind of voice that our nation needs in these economic uncertain times, I say not.

Someone should ask Mr. Holliet if the same would hold true for Canada itself, seeing how it lied to its citizens about ABCP’s and the repatriation of almost 32 billion Canadian dollars that Canada never had invested in the sub-prime mortgages scandal in the United States, but of course that doesn’t matter because of course that is Canada, and she cannot do any wrong.

What we need Patriot is too keep our sons and daughters home were we can and should be making investments in ourselves and the resources that we have, instead of being involved in this so called federation. We need control of our natural resources including control of our continental shelf that is so insignificant to Canada. How can this country protect the Northwest Passage when it cannot even afford fuel to protect the grand banks from overfishing?

In 1949 our forefathers seen this coming true. We must partition ourselves from Canada and its evils in order to protect not only our cultural and identity but our natural resources and our citizens. If Canada is so great and beautiful, why haven’t those that love it so much leave, like thousands that have been forced to do so? I think they would rather stay here and spin what I like to call “Canadian Propaganda “to keep us tangled in their web of lies and deceit. They want our airspace, our ocean water front and of course there is Churchill Falls.

For those bloggers out there that cannot tell the truth, I feel that someday you will have to atone for your sins. I just hope Patriot that they have made it to Mass or Christmas service over this Holiday season. God knows they need it.

PS, in response to Margaret Went recanting her, article. No Miss Wente we do not have short memories. Some of us are still getting over the fact that your Canadian Government stole our country. I think that you’re going to have to get in line if you’re looking for forgiveness. The lies are still coming from Canada so it might take us some time to get around to the likes of you.

Anonymous said...

Lest we Forget.

April the first, nineteen forty-nine
Was a day that I’ll soon not forget.
The radio blared that the “terms” had been signed,
Filling Grandfather’s heart with regret.

I can still see his eyes filled with anger and hate
At this terrible thing they had done.
A true Newfoundlander he felt t’was too late,
And he mourned as if losing a son.

He first lit a candle then he pulled down the blinds,
And he placed some black crepe on the door.
He looked somber and sad in his black suit and hat,
And the black satin armbands he wore.

He was eighty years old but he climbed up the hill
To the church with it’s steeple and bell.
His eyes filled with tears as his hands gripped the rope,
And he softly tolled the death knell.

There wasn’t a coffin, a body or grave,
The dying was all in his mind.
This joining with Canada wasn’t for him,
A patriot true to his kind.

I was only a “gaffer” but I still recall
How his voice rang with passion and pride.
“You have sold out your birthright,
You’ve let down the flag
That your forefathers fought for and died.

That up-along bunch will be down here in droves,
They’ll force you to flee from your home,
There’ll be taxes on this, there’ll be taxes on that,
And you won’t have a thing of your own.

They’ll tear up the countryside, take all the land,
They’ll catch all the fish in the bay.
You won’t be allowed to have horses and cows
Unless you are willing to pay.

They have filled you with promises, all of them lies,
They say there is nothing you’ll lack,
They’ll give you the Bonus, the Pension and such,
And with taxes they’ll take it all back.

They got you to thinking the skies will be blue,
And the sun won’t again fail to shine,
But you’ll have second thoughts when this land of your birth
Is alive with corruption and crime.

You’ll have a new anthem,
you’ll have a new flag,
They’ll watch what you write, say and do.
T’will be everything Ottawa, nothing St. John’s.
Mark my words what I’m saying is true.

That Smallwood’s a traitor and you’ll see the day
When the people will stand up and shout
That he’s not worth the powder to blow him to hell,
And his friends will be kicking him out.”

But nobody heeded what Grandfather said
And nobody heeded his tears.
They called him a babbling, senile old man
Who was exaggerating his fears.

They all went their way with a smile in their hearts,
Hoping only good fortune would fall.
But I wondered in time would they look back and say:
“Wasn’t Grandfather right after all?”

Anonymous said...

There are several individuals in Newfoundland and Labrador who run a Blog site; certain of these blogs have strategic anchoring points for instance a Newspaper.

Some of the blog owners describe themselves as Consultants, but the questions are who their clients are and who is funding them? They seem to have a lot of free time to be perusing the blogs of others and to pounce on anything adversely written about the Federal Government.

But try and enter a comment on their blog site to get a point across against the abuse the province of NL suffered economically under the umbrella of Ottawa, and you will find that those so-called Consultants are the Great Defenders of Ottawa and everything it does. They are constantly perusing the blog sites of the other blog owners to counter anything written about Ottawa. Is their remuneration for doing so part of the Patronage Plum Took Kit of Ottawa? Are they on the payroll of Ottawa? I noticed some of them have been government employees in the past. I cannot see where they would have the time to spend with private clients.


It is as plain as the noses on our faces that the province of NL has not gotten its fair share of the infrastructure, such as Military bases, etc., which NL provides 10% of the recruits to, and which are also funded by yours and my tax dollars. And then the lack of our fair share of Federal Regional Offices which my federal tax dollars and yours go also to fund, you will find that we do not have our fair share of those entities and for anyone, who would have the audacity to say, that we do, I would like for them to do an accounting of everything situated in the other provinces compliments of the Federal Government and then compare it what is in the province of NL. They would find that NL’s share is a pittance compared to all of the other provinces.

Maybe that is a subject for one of your future articles. Let us see if those pseudo-consultants come to your blog site and give you some instances to disprove what we are saying.

Have you ever heard of a World Fair or Olympics partially funded for Newfoundland and Labrador by Ottawa? For instance British Columbia has had a World Fair, Prime Ministers Trade Missions to Asia and next year the 2010 Winter Olympics, and as a result it has had its economy augmented substantially because of those measures enforced by Ottawa on its behalf. And, of course, we cannot forget the Immigrants which came to British Columbia as a result of all the efforts put forth by the Federal Government. British Columbia has gained more than 1 million Asians. And they have brought with them lots of money and have created great businesses there. That is just some of the accounting for some of the efforts which the Federal Government put forth for one province.

Todd said...

To the poem above... absolutely brilliant! It speaks nothing but truth. Sometimes I make myself sick to the stomach wondering where NL will be when my kids grow up. Back to the way it was, I hope.

And Myles, keep up the fantastic work. This is my first time posting, but I'm constantly visiting to see what new goodies you have in store... as are alot of other people, I'm sure.

God guard thee Newfoundland.

Anonymous said...

January 05, 2009 1:39 PM, you my friend are very enlightened to say the least. We need more vioces like yourself Anon to spread the truth about thease rapists and traitors to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

" In The truest Sense Freedom Cannot Be Bestowed, It must Be Achieved" - Franklin.D. Roosevelt

And to this remark, January 04, 2009 1:26 PM ,I would like to say. Who do you think gets the contracts to build all the military equipment for canadas Armed Forces.

Why the city of london builds the ravs and "OH my" Quebec has the contract for the assault rifles. As a matter of fact between Ontario and Quebec both provinces get over 90% of all military contracts.But, it appears that poor Marystown cant get a contract to build a few ships to gaurd our two hunred mile limit. Thats the truth of the entire situation.

Thats how pathetic canada has become. NO eqaulity here folks. "Its called taxation without representation."

Anonymous said...

Anon of January 06, 2009 12:45 PM

Yours is the exact response that I was looking for.

There are many, many contracts such as those you mentioned let every year in Canada by the Federal Government and Big Industry, but none of them come to Newfoundland and Labrador to create economies. The other parts of Canada are very covetous over such contracts let by the Federal Government and Big Industry,and I do believe they think because Newfoundland and Labrador was the last province to join Canada that we should not have a right to anything let by the Federal Government.

I really do think that they have the impression that we have not earned our keep, since they have never been apprised of the natural and human resources that have been exported out of Newfoundland and Labrador to keep their economies going.

I think it is as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:45

I agree with your belief that the rest of Canada sees us as the last ones in and so not entitled to anything.

I also agree that they don't know the value we have given to Canada in terms of our resources, including our human resources.

Where we differ is in believing it is, as you say, "as simple as that".

I don't think so.

In addition to these problems that we need to work to overcome there is the bigger issue of political clout.

With only seven, usually useless, voices on Parliament fighting against the will of Ontario or Quebec for example there is no question where the political muscle exists and it is the same places where the majority of those federal contracts and dollars end up.

It might not be easy but we can fight the perceptions of the people and convince them of our value. Fighting the political system of Canada is a much tougher war.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you anon of Jan. 06, 2009 3:57 PM - The larger problem is that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador only possesses 7 seats out of 308 or or 2.3% of the voting say in the Canadian Parliament.

But our biggest problem of all is that our Federal Politicians have allowed themselves to be bought off to toe the line for Ottawa.

Seven vociferious patriotic Newfoundland and Labrador politicians should have been able to do better than what was accomplished economically in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador over the past 60 years.

So there we have identified three serious problems.

Anonymous said...

"The Irish people established the Irish Republic. It can only be disestablished by the Irish people.We defeat the Bristish Empire not by embracing it, but denying its very exsistance." - Eamon de Valera

The same thing must be said for Canada. It has shown us that we are not wanted or needed.By falling to thier rules we play thier game.Its time to stop playing thier game and think about what is transpiring here.

Can we even afford another sixty years of rule, like we have already had.I think not.

Secession from Canada is the only way.Before its too late.

Anonymous said...

Ya want to know something folks why is it that the conversion always ends here and we can’t get a reply from anyone. I want to ask anon January 06, 2009 2:45 PM this questions .The above post states that we are playing by Canada’s rules. And Patriot even you have stated this in one of your writings how Quebec uses it geography to influence its decision making. My question is this; if the province took the same attitude and we were an independent nation could we not use our geography in the same way.

I think the people of Labrador would benefit greatly from receiving the royalties from their air space. And then there is the St Lawrence. How would Canada and America feel if they were limited to a much smaller passage then whats there now. Even Dr James Freehan from Memorial University in St John’s says that we would be on better footing to re-negotiate the Churchill Falls contract if we were our own separate state. It can all be heard here.

http://www.mun.ca/harriscentre/Memorial_Presents/Churchill_Falls/Churchill_Falls.php

Where are we going to be in another sixty years? Personally I think we are just purly f@&%. How in the name of God are we going to keep going at this rate? It’s OK to rant it’s the system it’s the system but the system only matters if you allow it to matter.

Some people just don’t get it. You can rant all day about how you’re going to go to Ottawa and fight the good fight but in the end you already know that you’ve been set-up to fail before you even start. A good example of this is how the feds see us is. Have they ever stood up for us on the international scene. NOPE?

Ralph Klein can walk into the white house and sit and discuss trade issues for Alberta but as soon as Newfoundland and Labrador take their own initiative to go abroad and attract bissness the federal government runs in the room to see what the hell is going on. I think Danny had this problem.

I think those that have been able to stay at home don’t realize one important part of the equation. That those of us that have been displaced see it totally different.It’s not about fighting Ottawa and getting a fair or better deal on matters that concern the province. It is and always will be about one thing and one thing only. Home. It will always be just that.Fighting for what you are.And if that means turning the ship on a different course then so be it.

Patriot said...

Hi Anon 11:20.

You couldn't be more right. Indeed fighting the same old battles rules laid down on a game board your opponent controls is a futile exercise and yes, we could gain great advantage by gaining our freedom and control of our land, sea and airspace.

Let's face it, as far as NL's existance in Canada is concerned we are not living in a true democracy but a dictatorship.

The practice of electing a new government every few years is just a convenient way to make it more difficult for the people to pin the blame on any single individual or party (they are all alike).

Like they say, it's always harder to hit a moving target.

As for the Anon who earlier brought up the subject of certain bloggers and commentators that always side with Ottawa (but shall remain nameless), their actions shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. It's a practice that's been used for centuries throughout the world.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, "It is the old practice of despots to use a part of the people to keep the rest in order."