Defence Department to freeze membership of Canadian Forces, sell properties

Spending curb part of government-wide effort to cut budgets

The Canadian Forces are set to cap membership at 68,000 troops, while the Defence Department and military are looking to sell off properties and shut down facilities, according to documents obtained by The Ottawa Citizen. The moves are part of the military’s plan to trim its budget between now and 2016. The Defence Department’s holdings include about half of all federally owned buildings, or 21,000 units—of which 318 are considered cultural and historic sites,—as well as 2.25 million hectares of land. Speaking with the Citizen, Liberal Sen. Colin Kenny said closures make sense, since some underused facilities are costing the government millions of dollars to keep open. He pointed to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Goose Bay site as an example. But he also called for financial compensation packages for the communities in which Defense Department facilities are to be closed.

Ottawa Citizen

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