Are Snowbirds practising to tackle Red Baron?

Dear editor,

Prime Minister Harper has always made a point of emphasizing his support for our military assets.

Dear editor,

Prime Minister Harper has always made a point of emphasizing his support for our military assets.

In fact Mr. Harper’s governments have overseen an explosion of procurement contracts and military spending. Armed icebreakers, advanced F-35s, long-range jet transports and naval support vessels: As the prime minister likes to say, he wants our forces to have “more teeth and less tail.”

So I suppose it must have been the “tail” that was flying over the Comox Valley this weekend.

It’s hard to imagine that air show performers could really have that much “teeth.” They are pretty, though.

Painted an iconic red and white colour scheme that might be mistaken for Polish, and emitting exhausted hydrocarbons that refract the afternoon sun in a fittingly 40-year-old, 1960s psychedelic kind of way.

Barnstorming, or in the absence of barns, house storming, they lunge and dip, diving, soaring and roaring, all our mid-April days. I guess I should be grateful for the free demonstrations.

But what are they demonstrating, our air forces ability to take on Snoopy and the Red Baron?

More likely it’s their penchant for burning through dollars, military readiness, and fuel by the thousands of gallons; any responsible military would be consigning these demonstration birds to extinction. A sane general would send these Snowbirds, the way of the hapless and flightless dodo bird.

Not so way above, but apparently beyond all reason, our iconic Canadian jet mascots are fuelled up for another season.

I suppose it’s a little ironic that when our Snowbirds fly south this year they’ll find it queer, that the air show circuit skies will be less crowded. To save money for its “teeth,” the American superpower has grounded its PR air show squadron fleets.

Canadian ground forces are now suffering cuts of almost 22 per cent, and Mr. Harper’s austerity is pinching all of the Department of Defence. With Finance Minister Flaherty’s real financial constraints, I wonder if the military’s most urgent need ain’t demonstrating that we have planes that can fly in circles, unarmed and at slow speeds.

Perhaps, as Mr. Harper says, our forces should indeed be “more teeth And less tail.”

Steve W. Hodge,


Just Posted

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

Potlatch 67-67:

This is the third part of a three-part June series looking at… Continue reading

Comox Valley Schools to see trustee shakeup next fall

Four of seven trustees have stated they will not run for re-election in October

UPDATED: Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Merville water bottling proposal heading to public hearing

A contentious business proposal in Merville will be going to a public… Continue reading

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Trial date set for alleged animal abusers on Van Isle

Anderson Joe and Melissa Tooshley pleaded not guilty and will go to trial in February 2019; their dog Teddy died from severe neglect

Former B.C. gangster arrested for drug operation in India

Jimi Sandhu, deported in 2016, accused of owning drug-manufacturing facility

BC Ferries posts strong earnings before rate cuts

Last year highest ever for vehicle traffic, most walk-ons in 20 years

Snapchat used to make mass shooting threat in Kamloops

RCMP did not dub the threat a hoax, instead called it “unsubstantiated”

A talent in the making

Pats consider 16-year-old a leader

B.C. groups file response to government’s fight against solitary confinement

B.C. Supreme Court judge suspended ruling for one year to give government time to draft legislation

National sports organizations have to report allegations of abuse immediately

Sporting organizations will lose federal funding if abuse goes unreported, says Kirsty Duncan

BC conservation officers release badger from wolf trap

Badger recovering after being caught in trap near Williams Lake

Most Read