Snowbirds returning to Comox Valley in spite of funding cuts
It's a sure sign of spring in the Comox Valley.
Despite budget cutbacks affecting all American shows, the Snowbirds Demonstration Team will practise over the Valley in April.
Capt. Thomas Edelson, public affairs officer for the team, said the jets will once again use the area as their practice ground for two weeks during the second half of the month.
"We haven't firmed up the dates quite yet, but we are coming back. We are looking at much the same setup as past years," he noted from their home base of Moose Jaw.
"The mountains, water and terrain make it a good practice area for the team, and it will be nice to get away from -35 (degrees) here."
While Edelson added all the American shows for the Snowbirds are off the schedule, the budget cuts have not affected any Canadian shows.
"They still have a full schedule; there are approximately just shy of 30 locations in the upcoming season," he explained.
This year, there are five new members of the Snowbirds team including a new lead, and Edelson said they are finalizing the schedule and theme for 2014 within the next few weeks.
Team members and full biographies will be available soon on the team's website at www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/snowbirds/index.page.
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In their latest budget Tuesday, the Conservative government announced it will strip the Defence Department of more than $3 billion in spending on new military purchases in the near future.
In their budget, the government noted it will reclaim $3.1 million in national defence funding for major capital procurements from the 2013-14 to 2016-2017 period to future years in which key purchases will be made.