October 24, 2011

Government to freeze Canadian Forces at current size and sell off surplus properties

Filed under: Cancon, Economics, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 09:38

David Pugliese reports on the federal government’s announced freeze-and-sell-off in the Department of National Defence:

The size of the regular Canadian Forces will be frozen at 68,000 people for the next several years and the military and Defence Department will look at selling off property and shutting down facilities as part of its belt-tightening, according to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen.

The new directive from Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk and Deputy Minister Robert Fonberg outlines in broad terms how DND and the Canadian Forces plan to deal with a tighter fiscal situation between now and 2016.

A national plan will be developed for DND’s property holdings, putting emphasis on only keeping sites that support operations, the directive notes.

[. . .]

DND’s property holdings are massive, comprising of approximately half of all federally owned buildings. They include various bases across the country. In total DND has 21,000 buildings and 800 parcels of land covering 2.25 million hectares.

That portfolio also includes a large number of buildings with cultural and historical significance to local communities. There are 318 buildings that are considered as heritage structures, including the Cartier Drill Hall in Ottawa, La Citadelle in Quebec City and the Seaforth Armoury in Vancouver.

But the reference to dumping property has some wondering whether base closures could be coming.

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