27 December 2005

Battalions for everyone!

Paul Wells heard from an anonymous Conservative source that the Conservatives still plan to stick to their commitment to Goose Bay from last May.

Apparently, the "Promise 'em Anything" tour still plans to announce a rapid reaction battalion for Goose Bay. And yes it is suspiciously similar to the rapid reaction "airborne" battalion promised to Trenton Ontario before Christmas.

The Connie war room has been keeping some local reporters here at bay with the same promises of a battalion in every town needing some infusion of federal cash.

Take it at face value and it seems that the Conservatives expect Northern Canada to be a hotbed of insurrection and invasion, what with the two battalions it will need for "rapid reaction." That's two on top of the one General Rick Hillier is creating to fight instability in parts of the world that are actually unstable.


Enterprising and cynical people (especially reporters) should ask:

Why was this Goose Bay battalion previously omitted from Conservative Party announcements, even though common sense dictated it should have been included?

How will Gord O'Connor find the people to fill the positions for what appears to be now three new battalions (a total of 1300 new positions), when DND is falling short of its recruiting targets by about 1, 000 people annually?

Just so that everybody can see the similarities in the announcements, here are the relevant excerpts from the Connie media missives:

May 2005:

"Gordon O'Connor, a former army officer and the Conservatives' defence critic, said his party 'would establish a new rapid reaction army battalion in CFB Goose Bay' with about 750 soldiers – if it formed a government after the next general election." - CBC News 15 May 2005. The inner quotes are straight from Gordo. The actual Conservative news release said:

"Establish a regular force rapid reaction army battalion at CFB Goose Bay". [Emphasis added]

December 13 2005

"Creation of a new airborne battalion (650 regular force personnel), to be stationed at CFB Trenton and to be available for rapid deployment;" - Conservative Party news release. [Emphasis added]

December 22 2005

"Providing an army emergency response capability through the new airborne battalion and airlift capacity stationed at CFB Trenton to provide a rapid emergency response capability throughout the entire Arctic region." - CPC news release [Emphasis added.]