Monday, March 29, 2010

A Bold Idea

What would happen if the Canadian Forces moved the Pacific Fleet headquarters from Esquimalt to Prince Rupert?

In the Greater Victoria area there is low unemployment and a shortage of affordable housing. The CRD also has a crisis with available industrial land.

Prince Rupert is transitioning to be a a significant port on the west coast but is suffering from the vagaries of the resource industries. A naval base would offer a strong and consistent economic backing to the region.

With the naval base in Rupert, there would be a need for a drydock in Prince Rupert. With the new container port there will be major ships that need repairs from time to time, the naval base makes the economic case for the repair facility.

The Canadian Forces have close to 200 hectares of land in Esquimalt and 250 hectares in Colwood. The sale of these lands would net the federal government several billion dollars, enough to buy new lands in Prince Rupert and build the base there with money left over.

A new base in Prince Rupert would also have state of the art buildings and docks making it a better base than what we have now. The Canadian Forces would also have the chance to build decent quality on base housing. The quality of the houses the military has in the CRD is not exactly great.

Prince Rupert places the Canadian navy closer to Asia.

A navy base in Prince Rupert would also be the only NATO navy base on the north coast. The US has no navy bases in Alaska and having a NATO base in Prince Rupert would likely be of benefit to the Americans.

Having the base in Prince Rupert would also be of benefit to the ordinary seamen in the Canadian navy as housing would be much more affordable.

The idea is bold and has many upsides, but I am sure it will be shot down because it involves change and people are inherently conservative and resistant to change.

1 comment:

Ted Godwin said...

I want to shoot down the idea because I am a traditionalist and very concervative (note small c) in many ways. That said I have yet to come up with an actual logical reason that this would be a bad idea.