Editor's note: Mr. Schindeler is responding to the BayToday story Study underway to decommission the SAGE underground complex.
I challenge anyone to identify a more important historical site in Canada than the Underground NORAD Complex.
The Cold War was fought and won in North Bay by members of the Canadian Armed Forces operating 600 feet underground. On a number of occasions, they 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 to educate the public about the Cold War era.
With a little imagination, it could become a world-class museum and 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.
In addition to protecting an important part of Canadian history, North Bay would benefit from having 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 $7,785,000 in yearly funding. In 2018, the Government of Ontario announced a special $16 million funding package.
How many millions of dollars does Ontario spend supporting tourism in North Bay?
Further, it would cost billions upon billions of dollars to build the Underground NORAD Complex today.
Surely the federal or provincial 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?