…unless one had not read the Conservatives’ 2011 election platform. From an earlier post on that platform:
Strengthen the Canadian Coast Guard
To build on these actions and further strengthen our national security, we will:
• give the Coast Guard a law-enforcement mandate, to enable them to enforce federal laws on our oceans and on the Great Lakes [why? see immediately below];
• establish armed boarding teams including Coast Guard and RCMP personnel [armed RCMP personnel already jointly crew CCG certain vessels in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway region, RCMP personnel can be carried elsewhere as needed, and CCG vessels for many years have been carrying Fishery Officers, with their weapons, who may carry out “armed boardings“; the Conservatives really should learn what the CCG already does–since its vessels carry armed RCMP and Fisheries and Oceans personnel with law enforcement powers why do CCG members need those powers and why should they be armed themselves?]; and
• outfit selected Coast Guard vessels with armed capability [the government said last October it was considering this, some discussion here at Milnet.ca]…
Artist’s rendering of the new, currently unarmed, “Hero Class” mid-shore patrol vessel:
But the CBC cannot resist this “revelation” (the new info is the OAS mention):
Government to consider arming coast guard vessels
Defence Minister Peter MacKay makes revelation in Halifax
The federal government is considering arming Canadian Coast Guard vessels currently being produced at the Halifax shipyard.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay made the revelation after a ceremony unveiling the coast guard’s newest mid-shore patrol vessel, Caporal Kaeble V.C., at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography on Tuesday [Nov. 13].
He said the Organization of American States has been putting pressure on Canada to arm its coast guard to aid in combating drug and other contraband from entering North America.
“This is something we obviously have to contemplate whether to further up-armour some of these coast guard vessels and to have weapons aboard,” MacKay said…
The plan is, over the next two years, for the Halifax shipyard to finish one ship every three or four months.
The Hero-class patrol vessels are designed for maritime security and fisheries enforcement off the coast of Canada…
The 40-metre ship will patrol the St. Lawrence River between the mouth of the river and Cornwall, Ont. Members of the RCMP will be on board, working co-operatively with coast guard members…
Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger
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