Captain Ahab joins the Canadian Navy

by : Gary Whittaker



Canada’s military has been a long-standing joke for decades. On October 5th, that joke turned deadly serious when a crew member of the HMCS Chicoutimi died from injuries sustained onboard from smoke inhalation. Lieut. Chris Saunders, who leaves behind a wife and two children, will become known as the 1st Canadian to die aboard a submarine will on duty in approx. 50 years. The HMCS Chicoutimi was on its maiden voyage to Canada when the fire broke out. It was the last one of 4 vessels purchased second hand from the UK, to be brought to Canada for use in its Navy. The total price tag for the 4 submarines was 750 million dollars. All four submarines reported problems of varying degrees, with this latest incident being the most serious. They were actually purchased in 1998, and that was considered a bargain at the time. 2 more crewmembers remain hospitalized as a result of injuries sustained during the incident.

All three crewmembers were transported to a hospital in Ireland, close to where the submarine was when the fire broke out. In doing so, the Canadian government was sparred further embarrassment from the incident by not having the injured personnel not wait for medical attention in a Canadian hospital with depleted resources due to cuts over the last decade. The Liberals are already trying to deflect blame thrown at them from the opposition, claiming that the problems reported on the purchased subs where all normal, and that the inspection teams did all they could prior to allowing the subs to leave dock. Meanwhile, the Navy insists that these submarines were needed in their plans for defence.

We now have to ask ourselves what exactly that plan could be. Canadians have to be realistic. There is absolutely no point in trying to develop a strategic plan against any nation. There is no way the most powerful nation in history will allow Canada to be invaded, and there is no way Canada would be able to defend its self if ever the American lose their minds and attack Canada.

The submarines would also present a target for terrorists. They attack with vans, plans and cargo containers (okay, this last one I got only from movies, but you never know…). There is little a diesel-fuelled submarine will be defend against known terrorist capabilities, so that’s rules them out.

That leaves foreign fishing boats, Green Peace and Whales as they only potential targets left for the Canadian Navy. Do we have a Captain Ahab leading the Canadian Navy? Doubtful, since there are some Canadian boat tours that add Whale sightseeing as an incentive to pay good money for a three-hour tour.

That leaves the Spanish fishing boats. They have continuously ignored warning by the Canadian government about fishing in their waters. The fishing industry is in decline, with the Maritime Provinces being the most affected, as they have become Canada’s own 3rd world nation. Could Canadians have paid 750 million dollars to deter the Spanish? There own version of a new cold war? There is no other explanation for it. No other reason for it, other than to scare away the Spanish boats, or the fish from under the Spanish boats and drive them to Canadian nets. Either way, after a quarter of a billion dollars in initial cost, with hundreds of millions more in maintenance and repair costs, and now 1 human life, Canadians are paying dearly. To be insulted for your national defense is one thing, but to have a government force Canadians pay for the upkeep of those insults is more than just a slap in the face, it is a reason to fight back.