Thursday, February 27, 2014

Loving the Smell of Cordite in the Morning

'Did you see that tank going by?'
   Here’s a really bad idea for a world unbalanced by bad ideas:  A London, Ontario tank armour manufacturer wants to establish an explosion test site on the southern edge of Algonquin Park.
   Armatec Survivabilty plans to buy 2,300 acres of bush country for an explosion obstacle course to test its armour. The land is across the road from Benoir Lake, one of many cottage lakes in the area. Cottagers have received notice from the Dysart et al Municipal Council that it plans to decide  in late March whether to allow the Armatec purchase.
   Tanks weighing up to 50 tonnes would be run through the obstacle course and the company says there would be only one explosion a day on 30 days a year and explosive noise would be short. There also would be mobility tests in which tanks and armoured vehicles roar through the forest.
   The company, anticipating someone might object to explosions and tank maneuvers on the border of Ontario’s most precious piece of outdoor heritage, has an FAQ site answering 42 questions about the plan. It can be found at:
   One of the cards already being played in the testing range plan is: “This is all about saving the lives of our soldiers.” Please, let’s not do that. There are plenty of other places, plenty of other ways to do important testing that will help protect our soldiers.
   The real issue here is that we live in a world in which pollution and noise are killing us, or driving us crazy. The Algonquin Park area is one place where people can go to find some solitude. That 2,300 acres should become an extension of the Park, not a war weapons testing range.

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