Slight Armoured Vehicle III

The theme in November is to remember.

Let’s begin this post by remembering the $1.1 Billion unspent by Veteran’s Affairs under the recently defeated Harper government:

It appears from David Rutkay’s 2012 piece in that same amount was allocated to upgrading Canada’s fleet of LAVIIIs: estimates that the Canadian Forces have 618 LAVIIIs:

Ironsides, Canadian Armoured Fighting Vehicle Museums and Monuments claims a higher number of 651.  Bottom of page 141:

Cost per unit is estimated at $3.0 Million USD and of course anything with that kind of sticker shock has to come with a commercial and not to disappoint here’s the official GM Defence LAV video complete with hair rock and yes a bald eagle:

What you’ll notice in this video is the LAVIII doing some impressive things like driving steep inclines off-roading and even driving without all 8 of its tires, because it’s designed for “No Mission Failure”.

Although after seeing extensive service over the past decade the video’s claims don’t stack up against reality.

This particular vehicle has not been without its share of controversy most of it stemming from the vehicle being prone to rollovers.

Initially designed as a crew transport without a turret the vehicle’s dimensions don’t work against it. With a turret however is a different story, and there are several sad ones unfortunately, here are a few from 2014:

Ottawa Citizen

Global News:



CBC, May of 2014:

A month later CBC followed up with this piece:

Stephen Priestley, Researcher for the Canadian American Strategic Review (CASR) updated his 2006 post “Reviewing the LAV III – Rollovers and Suicide Bombers, Are Criticisms of the CF’s Armoured Vehicles Warranted?” : to include:

“The LAV III, like all armoured vehicles, is the result of design compromises. Being a wheeled vehicle, the LAV III turret is higher than an equivalent tracked vehicles and, thus, the LAV III is top-heavy. The trade- off is in top speed.”

Design compromises confirmed by veterans who served in them.  Here’s one from a 2004 thread here:

“You will get a lot of flack from those whom have never crewed an eight wheeled “boat”. When you have to work with what you are given, you just keep your cake-hole shut and carry on, because to do otherwise is counterproductive. The military does not want or need a scandal over this. The media quotes the 10 rollover accidents in six years of LAVIII use. They do not want to know the numbers for rollovers involving all vehicles using the same chassis and drive system (Grizzly, Coyote, Bison, Husky etc.) before the LAVIII became the Land forces media darling. I spent the first eight years of my career bouncing and jolting around in all of (including the Coyote) our armoured vehicles, (inspiration to go “blue”) and in later years was involved in too many rollover investigations involving these vehicles. But as usual, someone who has never seen the inside of an armoured vehicle is going to tell me how wrong I am and how safe the vehicle really is. This vehicle was never designed as a combat vehicle. We (the military) knew going into the RFP for a new “armoured” vehicle, we would not get what we needed, but what we could afford…nothing new here.”

This 2006 piece from The Ottawa Citizen is even more damning:

“Studies done by the Canadian Forces in the late 1990s had already called into question replacing the Leopard tank with a lighter armoured vehicle, similar to the MGS. The outcome of one of those war game simulations warned that using such a vehicle would not only cost Canadian lives but would be “morally and ethically wrong.”

And yet almost 10 years someone believes that 250 of these vehicles are morally and ethically the right vehicle to turn into monuments?:

Not only that Aurora council unanimously approved placing one beside the town’s Cenotaph, complete with a price tag of $15,000 to provide a slab, and responsibility for maintenance/vandalism.

The location of the cenotaph was chosen because it meets the criteria of “location, visitor accessibility” as outlined on their site here:

I’m unsure why the council is feeling pressured to meet this group’s criteria. If anything this group needs to meet the town’s and part of that is engaging the public with this issue.

Something council and staff either didn’t remember to do, or felt it was something they could compromise.

Boy they were wrong.

The Auroran has now run 3 letters to the editor flat out refusing this program, and they are penned from some very influential voices.

October 21st was one from the town’s former Curator:

October 28th another from a former Mayor:

November 4th has seen one from a parks and trails advocate:

And if we read page 5 of the October 20th 2009 edition we see this letter from a former Parks Director and 37 year member of the War Memorial Board:

So am I to understand that Aurora council is content in dismissing these views in favor of meeting the criteria of this program?

Quite possibly, because low and behold whose name shows up on the Program’s Community Selection Committee:

Darrell Bricker.

Yes the same Darrell Bricker that Mayor Dawe swoons over:

If the job of good social science is to never take anything from one source, then our council needs to do exactly that.

Perhaps they should start by reading this piece from back in April:

See, the Canadian military has already asked the U.S. State Department for permission to disperse used LAV IIIs as memorials but the approval process takes months — and so far there’s been no answer. The regulatory hurdles to be overcome are significant, and … DND [the Department of National Defence] may inadvertently incur costs not initially envisaged.

It goes on the read:

Tom Jenkins, chairman of the software firm OpenText and a main proponent of the memorial program, initially estimated the cost of converting the LAV III shell parts to monuments at $15,000 each, though the military briefing note says it could be closer to $100,000.

I wonder what Clr. Kim thinks of this given he was so vocal about paying any price:

Brock wrote an excellent piece in this week’s paper:

If there is as Brock believes “an equally passionate contingent for whom the Aurora Cenotaph is the most logical place for this LAV3” then let them explain how a vehicle, the result of design consequences is an appropriate monument anywhere nevermind beside the Cenotaph.

As for an opportune time for council reconsideration on this issue, immediately.

Lest we forget.

Watts on your mind?

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