gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for July 2011

Search and rescue: Privatization is not an option

July 22, 2011 @ 14:08 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, In the news

According to a CBC story, the Conservative government is considering privatizing the search and rescue roles currently carried out by the Department of National Defence and the Coast Guard.

WTF??!!11!eleven?! If true, then this idea would have to go on the Top Ten Stupid Things The Conservative Government Has Thought Of list. (I’m not sure what would be bumped off the list… that’s for another day.)

Search and rescue requires highly trained, well-equiped people who can, if necessary, be ordered into harm’s way. The military and Coast Guard have both the highly-trained personnel and equipment necessary to undertake search and rescue missions, which often result in their going into very dangerous situations. No private company is going to be able to staff such a venture without recruiting the people from the military or Coast Guard. And even if they can find the people, what company would be willing to assume the incredible liabilities that come with running search and rescue missions?

And then there’s the cost. Flying airplanes and helicopters, running boats and having highly-trained personnel is a very expensive business. How would a private company pay for such a venture? Presumably they would have a contract from the government, but would it really cost less than the current situation? Doubtful, particularly if you take into consideration the fact that the SAR personnel are likely going to come from the military and Coast Guard meaning those organizations are going to have to replace some of the highly-trained personnel.

Search and rescue must remain a function and responsibility of the government. Privatization is not an option.

A tip o’ the hat to Trashy for blogging about it this morning.

Pictures of Sunday evening’s lightning

July 18, 2011 @ 01:16 By: gordon Category: Photography, Weather

I spent some time trying to take pictures of lightning Sunday evening and I had a few successful results, which I thought I’d share with people.


July 13, 2011 @ 11:25 By: gordon Category: Weather

I happened to glance out my window a few minutes ago and noticed a wall of rain in the west end of the city. Checking the Franktown radar, I saw that the dark pillar of rain is pouring down at roughly rate of roughly 100mm/hour.Fun stuff!

Was Nunavut’s decision to refuse Ron Carlson permission to search for Franklin’s grave the right one? Yes, I think it was.

July 12, 2011 @ 00:12 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Heritage

As you may know, Sir John Franklin made several expeditions into the Canadian Arctic, the last of which saw him and his crew die of starvation, hypothermia, tuberculosis, lead poisoning (from their cans of food) and scurvy. The expedition’s ships, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, were trapped in the ice off King William Island in September 1846. According to a note found on the island, Franklin died on June 11th, 1847, though the exact location of his grave remains unknown, something that Ron Carlson desperately wants to change.

So, when the Nunavut Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (CLEY) rejected his application for an archaeological license to search for Franklin’s grave he was understandably frustrated. (more…)