Wednesday, 17 February 2016 14:41

Sad news on ships, senate and mounties

Written by  Dale Ferrel
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Our federal government has changed, but almost everything else appears to remain the same or worse.

Loads of lip service, delays, studies and consulting, but very little action other than promises to eventually push our struggling deficit out of site.
Here are three issues to reinforce my existential thoughts about the Canadiana we have come to know.
• The U.S. Navy just tested their first of three new Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyers. The 600-foot long hi-tech ships will cost US$22 billion. They are “state of the art”, and I will predict any one of them could wipe out the entire Canadian Navy in about 15 minutes. 
Canada has only an exiguous bounty to test for our navy. They could only announce they had “plans” to build 15, already outdated ships. They also explained the cost had gone from $14 billion to more than $30 billion while nothing had been accomplished. And that didn’t include costs for ice-breakers, coast guard or supply ships for which we are in dire need.
It has occurred to me, but obviously not to our government that it is high time we capitulate and abdicate our unjustified edifice called parliament. Let’s start to behave like the third-world, far-less-than-essential country we have become. We should behave like our peers and buy what we need from the countries that have the capability to produce the best of what we want. We should set priorities and complete ongoing annual purchases within our budgets. If we need to do patronage deals for Canadian firms to get re-elected, then make them some small part of production as part of the deal.
• Our worse-than-useless patronage-appointed Senate hacks make their own rules, written by senators for senators. Our members of parliament also maintain a similar program and they too live the good life.
Even the make up of the Senate is farcical. P.E.I. has four senators or one for every 36,570 persons. B.C. has one for every 780,000.
Why should P.E.I. get 21 times more representation than B.C.? The four Atlantic provinces with less than seven per cent of our total population get 30 senate seats while Ontario with more than 38 per cent gets only 24 seats. What bad booze high were our forefathers suffering when they did that deal?
Senators vote themselves $150,000 each, annually to spend any way they wish, including for partisan fundraising events. It appears Senators feel a need to make such claims, or undermine other senators making such claims, or undermine their own eligibility to sit in the den of thieves. Is there not some way to make them go away forever; perhaps by attrition with several in jail for theft.
• It saddens me greatly to witness the ever-declining retogression of the RCMP. I have watched their credibility steadily decline over the last 50 years. A good portion of the blame must go to non stop political interference by politicians who are clueless as to why they exist. Our last few commissioners have simply followed political beckoning at a huge cost to the Force’s effectiveness.
I empathize with the officers who actually try to do police work. They are the “canaries in the coal mine” and far too many are not happy with their lot. Many of the best simply throw up their hands and leave. Recruitment has fallen to less than half of what it was in 2009. Desperation now allows for cadets 50 years of age and older. Pay is poor as well.
Although desperately needed, auxiliary officers are not armed and now not even allowed into police vehicles to assist regular officers. We now have a Prime Minister who seems clueless about the realities of terrorism, coupled with a Commissioner sounding more like a social worker than an arbiter of law and order.
I would be pleased to hear more opinions from my readers on these topics.

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