Decommissioning The Hole a sad move

Article content

It will be a sad day for all Canadians if the Underground Norad Complex is fully decommissioned as planned.

I challenge anyone to identify a more important historical site in all of Canada.

The Cold War against the Soviet Union was fought and won by members of the Canadian Armed Forces operating 600 feet below North Bay. On several occasions military personnel prevented nuclear war from starting by accident.

You are only reading this because of their timely and courageous action.

Most Canadians, including most politicians, have no knowledge about the complex and its historic importance. Surely the complex could become an official historic site. With a little imagination, it could become a world-class museum that would draw visitors from around the globe.

In these troubled times, the threat of nuclear war looms again. We need to better understand how nuclear war was avoided during the Cold War. Transforming the complex into a historical site or museum would help to educate people about that important era.

Advertisement

Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

In addition to protecting an important part of Canadian history, North Bay would benefit from developing the complex into a tourist destination similar in scope to Science North which generates enormous economic spinoffs for the City of Sudbury. The Government of Ontario provides Science North with about $8 million a year in funding. In 2018 Ontario announced an additional $16-million funding package.

How many millions of dollars does Ontario spend supporting tourism in North Bay? The cost of maintaining the complex does not seem so unaffordable in comparison.

There is no need to transfer the facility to a “third party.” Rather, the Department of National Defence could simply provide limited access to the facility to Heritage Canada. Further, it is nonsense to think that the complex could not be used as a tourist destination because it is located below a military base and Norad facility. Public roads lead into the military base. There is public parking close to the Norad facility. What could a foreign adversary do 600 feet underground that they could not more readily do in the parking lot?

It would cost billions upon billions of dollars to build the Underground Norad complex today. Surely the federal government can do more with the complex than decommission it and allow it to fill with water.

If the complex were located in Ottawa, Toronto, or even Sudbury, does anyone think it would face the same fate?

Trevor Schindeler

North Bay

News Near Cochrane

This Week in Flyers