Letters: What do we risk for “security”?

Shirley resident asks about Canadian security amid US Naval activity

I’m glad my efforts to discover the cause of what my neighbour, Mr. MacNab describes “gets the shivers up the spine…very unnerving and spooky to hear” are creating interest.  I hope to have an answer soon, await confirmation the US Navy is without permission conducting EMF tests on special materiel, part of LRAD/APD programs near Sequim and Coupeville.

Please check out the West Coast Action Alliance (WCAA)website http://westcoastactionalliance.org, and Steve Koehler, Protect The Peninsula’s Future; and the Olympic Peninsula Environmental News. Opposing the U.S. military has consequences; a new posting by the WCAA details the level of harrassment, intimidation, and threats to our U.S. neighbours.

Canadians must know our rights other than ethical and moral ones. Are there treaties, agreements, laws which protect us/our sovereignty?

“There is significant concern because it has escalated in the last while in terms of the frequency and intensity,” Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins told Victoria News’ Kevin Laird on January 28; Victoria MP Murray Rankin told Laird he has had discussions with US Navy officials and will bring it up with Canadian military officials in Ottawa.

Contrary to what many believe, the US Navy will endanger – not protect – humans, wildlife, wilderness, the Juan de Fuca Strait, the Pacific Ocean, on either side of the border.  In the guise of protecting us from an unseen enemy, they will increase our exposure to noise pollution, radiation, stress ecosystems and endangered wildlife on land and in the sea.

In 2006, the US Navy began planning the Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range/North West Training Range Complex. They hope to see their plans become reality this year.

1. Test powerful EMF/RF radiation devices across Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Forest/Park, Quileute/Quinault Indian Reservations.  2,900 training exercises, 260 days a year, 16 hours a day, Growler Supersonic fighter jets fly three abreast at  1,200 feet, between 15 mobile cell towers and a fixed-emitter proposed for Pacific Beach.  The 4-8 GHz frequencies are very high, travel great distances.

MP Elizabeth May’s email to me:  “This decision by the American government impacts Canadians as well… Our government must engage with the U.S. to ensure Canadians’ concerns are taken into account.  I have [sent a] letter to U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman…I will seek opportunities to raise this issue in the House of Commons on your behalf.”

2. Phuong Le, AP, reported January 26, US Navy seeks “permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, raising concerns from animal advocates who say more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales and other sea creatures…up to 720 sonobuoys… “

3. Reported in January by AP, NPR/KPLU, Peninsula Daily News: facilities at Port Angeles to support seven vessels to escort Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base Trident Fleet Ballistic Nuclear Missile Submarines, Hood Canal – Pacific Ocean.  Washington Scuba Alliance fears “escort-vessel activity would compromise an artificial reef teeming with sea life…”; Scott Chitwood, Jamestown S’Klallam Natural Resources Director, says tribes fear for the eelgrass beds.

With all of this military activity on our doorstep, how much are we willing to risk in the name of security?

And how governments respond to citizens exercising free speech and expression is very telling.  If you oppose Harper’s policies, we’re now to be intimidated and labelled “terrorists.” It takes courage to speak out to protect all that is dear, including the Charter of Rights.  How much longer will we be “the True North Strong and Free”?  I hope you will inform yourselves and express your concerns.

Helene Harrison

Shirley