Times Colonist

Clear, present danger, but where’s the 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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