What, Exactly, Is Chicoutimi Doing?

Photo by yang miao on Unsplash


A report on CBC Newsworld featured David Common aboard HMCS Chicoutimi patrolling in the Pacific in proximity, apparently, to the Korean Peninsula. It seems that their rôle is not directly connected to the imminent Olympics, but rather to enforcing UN sanctions on the North Koreans. The report showed pictures, vaguely familiar from other, earlier reports, that the Koreans were breaking the blockade by transferring coal and oil from one ship to another on the high seas, then off-loading from DPRK-flagged craft  in North Korean ports.

Part of their gig seems to be coming to the surface from time to time to take pictures, assuming that this will produce damning evidence of collusion on the part of, say, the Chinese or the Russians, but at the cost of blowing the sub’s cover, assuming that anyone interested hadn’t already discerned what the captain of our sub had for breakfast. The photos of the collusion that appeared in earlier reports were all taken from above, which, barring the unlikely event of Chicoutimi levitating (did she not spend a lot of time in dry dock, so being out of the water wouldn’t be entirely unfamiliar), would mean that the provenance of the photos would be either aerial reconnaissance or, most likely, satellite tracking. This scenario would obviate the need for Chicoutimi to be there at all, other than as a seemingly significant mission, to get the men some sea time and some training credits. Given the general state of our armed forced, it would also be the occasion for the issuance of a battle ribbon to adorn the chests of the brave souls intrepid enough to sail in what was purchased as a used sub and which went through two decades of the terrible twos.

Don Cherry, our Cuckaloo-in-Chief, will have fun with this, touting the prowess of “our Boys”, which brings this wandering mind to another thought following an awkward exchange with a wounded veteran at a town hall, where our PM is said to have exclaimed in frustration that vets were asking more than we can afford. Sadly, my take is that our ability to afford services and pensions for veterans is more a matter of priorities: as we keep low-balling price points on natural resources as they exit the country and the commons, as we remain deaf to the sound of fortunes exiting the country for tax havens, as we prepare to indulge all our favourite bankers and infrastructure project managers in a feast at the public trough, we might want to reconsider the plight of those who have served their country to the best of their ability. We might also want to scrutinize the mission creep that sends people off on wild goose chases where the pay off for the risk incurred is insufficient to merit going in the first place.  The best way to avoid the burden of broken vets is to keep them out of any bellicose silliness unless we are directly threatened. I like Francis Bacon’s quip about marching off to war:

The best armor is to keep out of gunshot.




Drinking A Bit of Dilbit


Wining About Dilbit

A post on CBC tells of a trattoria in Fort MacMurray that won’t serve BC wine because of Horgan’s rejection of KM’s TM dilbit expansion. Here is a comment I left on FB reacting to said boycott:

Fine. I won’t patronize THAT restaurant! (Little chance of being in Alberta at all in any foreseeable future). However, I don’t like the implication that we wouldn’t have any gasoline without KM, and various other whoppers being told by a plethora of politicians, some of whom (Nenshi and Notley, notably) I thought might be beyond that sort of thing. We get all our distilled petroleum product from the United States. There is no refinery for dilbit, or even for sweet crude, in BC, nor in Alberta (could be dead wrong here) whose specialty seems to be digging up the stuff and moving it elsewhere. KM sends the stuff offshore. They are, however, along with their digging friends, kind enough to leave us with the tailings ponds, sour gas and downstream pollution in several river systems. Has Rachel stashed away enough loot to deal with all that? History tells us that as soon as the profits are gone, the KM tentacles will withdraw to Houston with all the loot they’ve accumulated and disappear into a name change (Accenture comes to mind, as well as whatever Blackwater has transmogrified into). Instead of preparing a swift and just transition to renewable energy, Notley and Trudeau continue to back sunset technologies that will doom life on Earth within the lifetimes of their children, and pretending that KM went through any approval that was anything other than a sham and a rubber stamp would be laughable were it not so brazenly false and damaging. Now can someone invoke a divine presence to turn all that dilbit into wine? I think Ernest and Julio might still have a few tankers kickin’ about.