Province should renew water-bomber contract

Re: “Last summer for Mars water bomber, “ May 11.

I was distressed to hear that after August 2013, the Coulson Group’s contract with the B.C. government will not be renewed.

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Whichever party ends up leading our province, I can’t stress enough the importance of the great job that the Mars water bomber does for our province.

Our province is covered in trees. We are the tinderbox of Canada when it comes to forest fires.

The alternative is a small fleet of dual-engine tankers with a minimal capacity. Figures from Wayne Coulson state that it would take 11 loads from one of these replacements to equal a single load from the Mars.

Here’s a job creation idea:

Establish the manufacturing of parts required for this amazing aircraft, more than 52 years old but still operating. Parts for this aircraft can no longer be found and have to be built from scratch. Jobs created would be supported not only by the province, but by the U.S., Mexico, Australia and any other country that needs the service of this lifesaving craft.

We can’t let this incredible service be lost. It’s time to wake up and smell the smoke, unless you want our legacy to be the province that couldn’t see the forest for the burning trees.

Leon Bateman


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