Vanguard Magazine

Oct/Nov 2014

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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On 25 November, Parliament Hill will host Navy Appreciation Day 2014, bringing together Parliamentarians, the Royal Canadian Navy, the maritime education sector and the maritime defence industry in an effort to showcase Canada's navy. N NAvy AppreciAtion DAy by Capt (Ret'd) Norman Jolin 24 octoBer/noVeMBer 2014 One may ask in these times of fiscal re- straint, why does Canada need a navy? A quick look at a map of Canada graphically illustrates the often unrecognized reality that Canada is indeed a three-ocean mari- time nation. Moreover, as a sovereign na- tion we have a duty to know who is using our waters, whilst maintaining authority by being able to respond quickly and ef- fectively to threats to our national security and sovereignty. These are not just platitudes. As a sov- ereign nation Canada must be able to control whatever takes place in the waters under its jurisdiction – Canadian territo- rial waters, the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. It is worth noting the legal ramifications of not maintaining a capability to control ones waters: it is an abrogation of sover- eign authority that can impact on bona fide claims over territory and the resources therein – the Canadian Arctic being a case in point. In a country as vast as ours, where the majority of Canadians live far from the sea, it is easy to lose sight of the importance of maritime issues. But it is our economy, the lifeblood of our nation, that demands free access to the global marketplace and it is through the 324 ports and harbours, over 243,000 kilometres of coastline, that our economy passes daily. In 2010 alone, Canada's international maritime trade accounted for $170 billion, so it is no surprise that Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2012 opined that "Canada is a maritime nation, a maritime nation with trade, commerce and interests around the world. Surrounded as we are by three oceans, it can truly be said that Canada of a navy T his annual event is sponsored by the Navy League of Canada, a national organization that was founded in 1895 with a broad- based mandate to promote maritime af- fairs in Canada. Navy Appreciation Day was born from a personal commitment of a dedicated few to celebrate Canada's Navy and impress upon Parliamentarians the importance of the Navy, its role and, most importantly, its people. As part of the day's activities, there is a Navy Hero program where a collection of exceptional Canadian naval personnel, who quietly make a difference on a daily basis, are recognized. The necessiTy

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