Sunday, September 04, 2005

Katrina - Part II - Canada Next?

It may be myopic or even jingoistic to think of this, but what if something similar happens in Canada?

Most agree that our equivalent would be the earthquake on our west coast. Let's use that as an example.

- The lower mainland is decimated, as is southern Vancouver Island. Vancouver General Hospital and the Vancouver Police Station at Hastings and Main are goners. The roads in and out of Vancouver proper are difficult, if not impossible to pass as bridges are badly damaged or gone all together.

- Our main military presence in BC, at CFB Esquimalt is a disaster at this point. No help there.

- The Search and Rescue function at CFB Comox can help, but is quickly over-run. CFB Cold Lake and Trenton come to the rescue. Luckily, given that this is an air-based function, it can happen relatively quickly.

- My main question, is how long would it take for our troops to be in Vancouver to quell the looting, establish order and let the Red Cross do their job? I would hazard a guess that it would be a lot longer than the 'unacceptable' amount of time it took the US. Remember, they have 40,000 troops on the ground (we have 65,000 in total) and they are landing more helicopters per minute than we have in our entire air force. We would be left dreaming of the level of unacceptability that is being decried in the US right now.

I wish this bothered more people than it does. Macleans did an admirable job of pointing out this problem and I certainly hope that is is not treated the same as the ominous warnings from the Times-Picayune and US News and World Report in the months leading up to Katrina.

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