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

Comox Valley golfers prepare for another 55+ Games

Competition, camaraderie name of the game

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

More than 22,000 blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this… Continue reading

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read