Bad news for 24 individuals in Chilliwack who may be looking for work shortly, thanks to the federal governments most recent budget.
All 18 positions at the local Area Support Unit are being cut, and those cuts will reportedly come into effect by next spring. In the budget, the Conservatives pledged to slash 19,000 federal jobs, and that included over 1100 in the Canadian Forces. Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz says not only feels bad for those people, but says it’s a loss for the community.
“What kind of adds salt into the wound is that it was the Liberals who took the base right away from us, and so now we’re a little bit concerned because we don’t have a military presence at all in Chilliwack. We’re very concerned when there’s the potential for flood and earthquake on the west coast, that there will be no one on the Lower Mainland representing the military.”
The ASU was created in 1999, after the closure of the Canadian Forces Base.
Mark Strahl’s office issued the following statement in a news release:
As part of our Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government is finding modest efficiencies to balance military needs with greater value for taxpayer money.
Changes are coming to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces that will among other things streamline the procurement of support equipment and spare parts and enhance human resources management. These changes will have an impact at Canadian Forces facilities in Chilliwack.
At this time, it is unclear what the specific impact will be. It is expected that any changes won’t occur until 2013/2014 and as such not all the details are available. However, I am working very closely with the Minister of National Defence, the Department of National Defence and have been assured that the Canadian Forces will continue to maintain a permanent presence in Chilliwack as some personnel transition elsewhere to meet emerging needs.