October 27, 2004

Rather droll, this

Sometimes you still see Canadians possessed of that British-like flair for quaint understatement. Check the last line of this Montreal Gazette story.

"A Canadian military reservist based in Saguenay led police on a wild chase from Alma to Quebec City early yesterday with speeds reaching up to 150 kilometres an hour.

The Surete du Quebec finally caught up with the suspect in Ste. Foy, a suburb of Quebec City, after a 200-kilometre chase.

Police say a motorist twice rammed the back of a military police vehicle at Canadian Forces Base Bagotville on Saturday night. The military police were unable to stop the driver, who then turned up at his father's home, where he fired a couple of shots. He was dressed in combat gear and was wearing a gas mask, police said.

After slipping past the Saguenay municipal police, he fired a couple of shots at the Surete police station in Alma.

On Highway 175, the fugitive managed to avoid a spike carpet at a roadblock, and fled at high speed for Quebec City.

The 20-year-old man was trying to get inside his sister's home near the Laval Hospital when he was caught, said SQ Constable Ann Mathieu.

He had crashed his car into a police roadblock before fleeing on foot. A hunting rifle was found in the car he was driving, police said.

An SQ spokesperson said the man is suspected in a rash of crimes, including arson and gas theft as well as firing shots.

No one was injured.

A Canadian Forces spokesperson said the man had not been on assignment.

'We are going to review the employability of this reservist,' she said. "

Posted by BruceR at 02:34 PM

Subs update: we did pay for them in the end

There was a bit of a bombshell in Monday's Commons committee hearings on the Royal Canadian Navy's submarines. That was, that after concluding an elaborate "contra" deal with the British, to trade leasing fees for Canadian Forces bases in return for discounted subs, National Defence declined to enact their part of the agreement and paid cash on the barrelhead instead... meaning I was incorrect previously when I minimized the cost to the taxpayer of the second-hand submarines.

I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been revealed that the British leasing offsets had not been what was forecast, but a lot of people besides me must have been surprised that our part of the deal was never enacted at all, in the end.

It's worth noting that buying four new subs would certainly have cost $3 billion CDN or more... an impossible expense at the time. It really was these four or nothing for the RCN.

UPDATE: Good article summarizing the case for submarines here.

Posted by BruceR at 02:26 PM

No thanksgiving for Turkey

I'm getting a little tired of this "perfidious Turkey" angle, too, and how if they'd only let the 4th Infantry Division drive through their country and invade Iraq from the north, everything would be all right now.

Look, Turkey was saying quite clearly back in November, 2002 it would not participate in any action against Iraq without Security Council sanction. If the Pentagon plan absolutely relied on them changing their minds about that, without any backup plan whatsoever for how to use the 4th, then it was either a stupid plan, or the 4th was considered non-critical to accomplishing the objective. Which is sort of the point.

Posted by BruceR at 10:14 AM