New Democrats slammed the Conservatives for mismanaging the Canadian Army after reports of strained resources at the Canadian Forces base in Petawawa were being made worse by unsupported expansion of the base.
"This is part of a larger problem with Army funding. The Army is told to lay off 1,000 civilian staff while they are being given new responsibilities across the country,” said NDP National Defence critic, Jack Harris. “The base in Petawawa already suffered job losses last June and now the Conservatives are asking them, once again, to do more with less. This is not going to work.”
The expansion project involves new infrastructure for the Helicopter fleet Chinook, which will be established at the base. The base will also be developing new facilities for the Canadian Special Operations Regiment. Faced with huge cutbacks and a hiring freeze declared by the Conservatives, the army is incapable of dealing with this expansion.
“The squadron and the regiment are not part of the army. But the Conservatives are making the Canadian Forces pay for these facilities and provide civilian staff at Petawawa,” said Harris. “The Conservative government must provide them with more resources for these new facilities. It’s a matter of common sense.”