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NDP MP Jack Harris wants assurances for Goose Bay

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Yesterday The Independent picked up on an Ottawa Citizen report that the Department of National Defense was considering closing military bases; Liberal Senator Colin Kenny, though not involved in any decisions but very familiar with the subject, cited CFB Goose Bay specifically as a base that had become redundant. NDP MP Jack Harris questioned the government about the report in the House of Commons: “CFB Goose Bay contributes over $75 million to Newfoundland and Labrador’s gross domestic product, and 5 Wing Goose Bay has served our country with distinction with its strategic northern location.” He received a typical Question Period response from Peter MacKay, the Minister of National Defense: “The new member from Newfoundland and Labrador that is now sitting as part of the federal cabinet in the Conservative government has made incredible efforts to ensure that we continue to make these historic efforts in Gander and Goose Bay, and…

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DND looks to freeze size of forces; sell properties. Goose Bay in trouble?

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The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that 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 – a belt-tightening that each government department is expected to accomplish over the next years. Senator Colin Kenny said closing bases and selling off surplus property is essential since unwanted or underused facilities are costing the military hundreds of millions of dollars annually to maintain. Kenny indicated that up to 25 per cent of DND’s facilities, some of which date back to the Second World War, could be sold or shut down. Worrisome to Newfoundland are his comments regarding Goose Bay: he said Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador is a good example of a site that has become redundant to military needs. “It’s been…

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