I was going to work down Ryan Road this morning, at the speed limit, and without a dog on my lap, or a breakfast tater treat sizzling between my short clad thigh, and a reflective vinyl seat.
In my motorcycle-induced, concentrated state, of utter non-distraction, I guess my mind was wandering, and pondering the results of the Canadian Forces latest, counter-insurgent, anti-broom action.
Lining the road on each side of me, pushed aside and piled like cordwood was a blackening Babi-Yar of supposedly, eradicated invasive, and I suspect only slightly distracted, insurgent Scottish broom.
‘Stewards of the environment,’ your paper quoted the base commanding colonel having said, as he volunteered his paid base staff for eight hours of a federally-funded, public relations, make-work project, to keep his peacetime army busy, and perhaps head off, the inevitable budgets cuts coming up ahead?
Cutting $2.9 billion, as the federal government plans to do from the ministry of defence budget this year, means generals, colonels, and majors making cuts of one million dollars in 2,900 different places; is it any wonder that our colonel is trying so hard to make busy his peacetime command?
Every dollar that this base pumps into our community, is sucked out of a taxpayer somewhere. It seems like our local brass takes this for granted, just as they do the peace of our Valley, and the value of lead and fine particulate-free air.
Never one to be involved in folly, perhaps the Colonel could set his troops on English holly, and maybe this time the troops could be timelier in cleaning up than they did with their Scottish broom.
Environmental steward? What kind of environmental steward has, as the federal Auditor General called some of them, barely operational aircraft, flying incessant circles over residential areas, including the new hospital site in Courtenay, for hours at a time?
Now the Colonel’s keeping his majors busy selling us an air show that we’re already paying for. Prime Minister Harper says he wants more military “teeth than tail,” yet ground forces are cut and air shows, broom busting, and cadet summer camps prevail.
Fomenting an idling, belching, traffic jam, and shutting down most of the businesses on the Comox peninsula and Ryan Road for a possible $500,000 of cream, could only be a colonel, a major, or a minor bureaucrat’s dream, or some kind of sham?
Environmental steward? What kind of environmental steward has his own avgas fuel tank farm, sponsors air shows and teaches the leaders of tomorrow activities like flying single engine, piston driven, recreational airplanes, that pollute like yesterday?
Perhaps it takes a glider and tow plane to get above the valleys smog and get a good glimpse of our shrinking glaciers? The C02 that these planes spew, not to mention the lead, makes a mockery of ‘environmental stewardship’ and makes me wonder how our forces are led.
Are the military assets, the Snowbirds, the glider tow planes and demonstration teams of Stephen Harper’s toothless tail really going to prevail over the obvious truth, that an environmental steward wouldn’t play with frivolous toys, that are expensive, wildly obsolete, ‘barely operational’ and wantonly pollute.
Before the Mexican Gulf oil-spewing geyser that we witnessed on our TV’s, British Petroleum was branding itself as ‘beyond petroleum.’
CFB Comox’s commander claiming the Comox Valley’s biggest polluter to be an ‘environmental steward’ is like oil giant BP’s claims, simply beyond belief.
Steve W Hodge