Monday, January 25, 2010

Fortress Podunkia

The arrival of container shipping to the North coast is apparently providing for much in the way of planning for Canada's National Defence Department, placing Prince Rupert and its ocean approaches as a key part of the future for Canada's military.

In an article in a publication called, Rear Adm. Tyrone Pile, the top sailor with Canada's Pacific Fleet outlined the challenges that the North coast port at Fairview will bring to Canada's military and how they plan on meeting them.

When they opened up the new container pier at Prince Rupert in September 2007, we had HMCS Ottawa alongside. There were representatives there from the state of Illinois, the city of Chicago, the state of Tennessee, the state of New Jersey and all of the ports from New Jersey. This wasn't just about Prince Rupert and the west coast of Canada. It was about the corridor to the heart of the U.S. Midwest, the Mississippi basin and the northeast United States, and Prince Rupert was directly linked to all of these trading corridors and was a major node for trade across the Asia Pacific.

As trade increases in Prince Rupert, as we believe it will over the next decade, we will continue to provide that requisite level of surveillance for those shipping lanes as we would for the shipping lanes into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which are feeding Vancouver and Seattle.

We'll be sharing that information with our American counterparts, the Coast Guard and Navy.

And our air surveillance, our satellite surveillance and our efforts by our marine security operations center to develop a recognized maritime picture off the coast of Canada and into the Pacific will continue to be increased.

Prince Rupert however is just one of his many concerns at the moment, with an expansion of the fleet out of Victoria and the upcoming Winter Games in Vancouver currently high on his agenda.

You can examine the full interview from the DefenseNow website.

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