Harper’s “Canada First” defense strategy is not placing Canada first, pens letter writer

Dear Editor,
Prime Minister Stephen Harper statement that the first priority of our Canada First defense strategy is to strengthen our ability to protect our citizens through more and better equipment is belied by reality.

Dear Editor,

Prime Minister Stephen Harper statement that the first priority of our Canada First defense strategy is to strengthen our ability to protect our citizens through more and better equipment is belied by reality.

Search and Rescue (SAR) capability is the only direct manner in which Canadian Forces operations affect Canadians on a continuing basis with approximately 8,000 search and rescue emergencies in Canadian territory yearly.

Though promising Canadian Forces better equipment, such is anything but the case. Though a replacement for the over 40 year old Buffalo aircraft in Western Canada has been selected, current planning is that they be kept flying until 2015. Funding was allotted in the 2004-2005 Budget and the replacement, the C27J Spartan chosen in January 2007 to replace the Buffalo and the SAR variant of the CC130 Hercules; the purchase has not gone forward.

The promise that there will be improved surveillance of our land and coastal borders is not being kept. Our current 14 Aurora aircraft are being reduced to 10. These are scheduled to be in service until 2020. No replacement has been chosen and not all ten are in operation because of upgrading equipment. Interestingly, one of the potential replacements could be an adaptation of Bombardier’s Global Express Bizjet.

That all possible steps are not being taken comes as no surprise. “Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty in the Arctic — either we use it or we lose it,” was the talk. Full-fledged icebreakers were the promise not the “slush breakers” incapable of operating other than in the summer season that were bought.

Not Search and Rescue capability, nor aerial surveillance, nor all season presence in the Arctic are priorities. These are the ways in which Canadian Forces serve Canada and Canadians directly. The “Canada First” defense strategy is not placing Canada first. Reality is it’s a hollow Harper re-election slogan.

Yours truly,

Joe Hueglin

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Just Posted

Influenza hits hard in Alberta

Flu season hits hard

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Ice fishing enjoyed by all

Crestomere 4-H members enjoy ice fishing

Major announcement planned for Tuesday at Westerner Park

Hopes are that the CFR will be relocating to Red Deer

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

Most Read