Stealth Snowmobiles Can’t Defend the North – And Shouldn’t Be Expected To

Stealth Snowmobiles Can’t Defend the North – And Shouldn’t Be Expected To
We'll need more tricks than silent snowmobiles.

We’ll need more tricks than silent snowmobiles.

This week, various Canadian news outlets reported that the Canadian armed forces had field-tested the “Loki”, a new stealth snowmobile designed to silently move troops around the Great White North.  No doubt in the coming days we’ll see pictures of these hybrid gas-electric snowmobiles in carefully-orchestrated photo ops, but for the time being, all we know is their price tag: $620, 000.

I’m not here to condemn the price.  Sure, $620,000 is over 13 years’ salary for the average citizen, but in military terms, that’s less than 0.1% of a single cancelled F35 fighter jet – or in friendlier Harper Government spending terms, it’s barely over 2% of a War of 1812 celebration.  All things considered, that these “stealth” military snowmobiles only cost 50 times more than a top-of-the-line new Canadian-built Ski-Doo actually counts as one of the government’s more fiscally responsible military decisions.  If that seems totally ridiculous to you… that’s because it is.

It’s time the Canadian government stops thinking of defending the North like it’s some kind of bad Home Alone movie, with the Harper Government as a wannabe Macaulay Culkin.  No number of home-made gadgets and crayola-drafted battle plans are going to successfully repel Russian, Chinese, or American home invaders from plundering our attic.  Now arguably, these military tools aren’t meant to be a deterrent to large-scale military invasion.

The justification for these, rather, is to better control and prevent smuggling, border violations, and “terrorism”.  If the Canadian government can’t do these things, it’s only a matter of time before our apparent inability to defend our own borders becomes a convenient justification for the military occupation – under the guise of “defence” – of the North by someone else.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves.  Canada’s military can’t defend the North alone.  Barring the development of some kind of North-Korean style military culture, it never will, either.  It’s time we accepted that and stopped trying to imagine we can go toe-to-toe with the world’s military powers.  It’s irrational, and frankly, it’s not the Canadian way.  We’ve always been a resource-exporting nation, and with the North so rich in natural resources and trading potential, powerful suitors for both aren’t lacking.  We may hold all the cards for now, but the only certainty is that we’re going to have to give some of them away.  The government’s focus with the North shouldn’t be on holding the cards as tight as possible, it should be on who to trade them with, bartering joint defense for joint benefit. It’s not time to be strong with the North… it’s time to be clever.

The political reality of Canada’s northern sovereignty isn’t Home Alone.  It’s Game of Thrones.  Winter is Coming, and spoiler alert – we Wardens of the North need more than a scattered army, stubborn leadership, and good intentions.

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Other articles by Farnell Morisset:
Royal Birth Excitement as Canadians Insist They Don’t Care
Keller Wins Bronze with Canadian Women’s Rugby at 2013 Universiades
Musée de la Civilisation Video Game Exhibit Draws Early Nostalgia

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About the author:

Farnell-Morisset_BiogFarnell Morisset is passionate about discussing (among other things) the issues of modern social identity for many Québécois who, like him, feel deeply connected to the Québécois nation and culture yet do not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image.

It is with this in mind that he contributes to LifeinQuebec.com as a valued member of our in-house writing team.

Categories: Opinion

About Author

Farnell Morisset

Farnell Morisset is passionate about discussing (among other things) the issues of modern social identity for many Québécois who, like him, feel deeply connected to the Québécois nation and culture yet do not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image. He has an engineering degree from Université Laval and is currently a law student at McGill University.

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