Times Colonist

Clear, present dan­ger, but where’s the navy?

- Canada News · Ship Building · Industries · Pacific Ocean · Australia · Canada · Halifax Regional Municipality · Victoria · Republic of China Navy

Re: “Two sup­ply ships not enough to en­sure navy can re­sup­ply fleets,” Nov. 26.

The clear and present dan­ger of a greatly ex­pand­ing Chi­nese Navy and a bel­li­cose Chi­nese Com­mu­nist gov­ern­ment has crys­tal­lized the minds of most Indo-Pa­cific na­tional lead­ers, re­sult­ing in ex­pand­ing de­fence bud­gets and larger fleets.

Aus­tralia now al­lo­cates over two per cent of GDP to de­fence and al­ready has a navy much more ca­pa­ble than Canada.

Canada, the out­lier, has five sur­face com­bat­ants and three sub­marines in the Pa­cific, and in the event of a cri­sis would have only one or two sur­face com­bat­ants and one sub­ma­rine avail­able for de­fence of Canada’s west coast and to con­trib­ute to al­lied forces.

As Amer­i­can tax­pay­ers will no longer pay for our de­fence, we must en­sure that our ex­ist­ing frigates last un­til 2034 when their first re­place­ment is oper­a­tional.

The Hal­i­fax class frigates’ com­bat sys­tems were up­dated in 2016, how­ever no funds were pro­vided to up­date the ship’s hull, pip­ing sys­tems and as­so­ci­ated pumps which will con­tinue to rust out over the next 14 years.

If sig­nif­i­cant funds are not al­lo­cated, th­ese ships may rust out as hap­pened for the Iro­quois class de­stroy­ers and the Pro­tecteur class re­plen­ish­ment ships with no re­place­ments for decades.

If this hap­pens, Canada will not have a com­bat ca­pa­ble navy at all! Our po­lit­i­cal class has let us down again. Is this ac­cept­able to Cana­di­ans?

Robin Allen Vic­to­ria

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