OPINION: A Massive Military Base Would Help Churchill

CHURCHILL, MB – The town of Churchill is struggling.

The closure of the only rail line into the town has made it a fly-in community, and is only the latest blow suffered by the community. The area’s economy has been devastated by the closure of the Port of Churchill, which cost many jobs and deprived our nation of a strategic deep-water port.

While there has been talk of food subsidies and assistance packages, that shows a significant lack of vision on the part of those in power. Instead of just tinkering around the edges, Canada should take this opportunity to create a lasting solution for Churchill that will benefit the community, and strengthen our entire country.

That solution is for the federal government to build a large military base in the Churchill area.

The fight for the arctic

The battle for the arctic is heating up. While Russia and other nations expand their military presence in the north, Canada is doing nothing. Our weakness could cause us to lose out on trillions of dollars of potential wealth in the north. Our “arctic sovereignty” is meaningless unless we have military strength to back it up.

That’s why an investment in our northern military forces now will pay off big time later. We should have at least 10,000 active troops stationed in the north, and we should greatly expand our navy and air force in the region. Building the large military facilities to achieve those goals would be a massive economic boost to the entire northern region, and would be accompanied by infrastructure investments in durable railroads and highways in the region.

Reorienting Churchill around military objectives would benefit the region through substantial job creation, and would benefit our entire country by strengthening our national security and boosting our claim to northern resources. It would be a win-win, and is far superior to anything being discussed currently.

Of course, such a plan would require the government buying the Port of Churchill back from OmniTrax. That’s simply a no-brainer at this point, as it makes zero sense for such a strategic national asset to be owned by a foreign billionaire.

Our national security, resource wealth, and job creation must be first priority for the federal government. A big military build-up in Churchill will achieve all of those goals.

Spencer Fernando, MyToba News

Spencer Fernando is a columnist and reporter for MyToba News. You can read more of Spencer’s writing at his website SpencerFernando.com
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  • Bonnie Friesen says:

    I agree that Port Churchill and the railway serving it should not be owned by foreigners. Foreigners are not interested in helping to assure Canadian sovereignty in the north and therefore would seek to weaken Canada’s presence there by neglecting the railway and killing commerce via Port Churchill.

  • Garry Harbottle says:

    It’s a deep-water seaport! Cargo ships anyone?

  • Jim says:

    I agree with Fernando. As global warming unfolds, the riches of the Artic will become self-evident. Canada must reinforce its presence just as the Russians are doing. A couple of navel icebreakers would also be desired and of course, their home base would be Churchill.

  • Terry says:

    A deep water port, good railway serving Churchill, Manitoba and Canada should be a given for the federal /provincial governments and the people of Canada

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