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Farnham Military Training Base to be Privatised ?


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Link to article (in french) from the journal L'Avenir et des Riviers
La base de Farnham privatisée? by Claude Hebert, 13 Feb

(Translated article using Bing)

Farnham Military Base privatised ?

Military installations in the focus of the Harper Government

Echoing statements by his colleague Christine Moore, Deputy NDP defence spokesperson Brome-Missisquoi MP expresses concern about plans of privatization of national defence property. Pierre Jacob expressed concern that such measures could apply to the military installations in Farnham.

Although defence Minister Peter MacKay has remained very vague and did not provide precise no indication on the sites targeted by the proposed privatization, Deputy Jacob takes care to remember that Farnham is second in importance to the Quebec training centre after Valcartier. It also stresses the contribution of the military base in the region's economy.

The garrison of Farnham welcomes more than 3 600 recruits and officer cadets every year. It employs or uses the services of many civilians and military personnel to meet the demand.

"These people come from all over and consume gasoline, buy cigarettes at a corner store and buy in grocery stores. Their presence is vital to the economy of Farnham,"argues M.Jacob.

Security risks?

Pierre Jacob admits that many questions still remain unanswered. He added that the NDP will follow closely and continue to hound the Harper Government to learn a little more about his intentions, while trying to make him see reason.

"It is unclear where the Conservative Government goes in this folder. Will privatization plans affect the whole of the operations or receive some very specific services. We must remember that the basis of Farnham houses a cafeteria, a small medical clinic, a Firehouse, a quartermaster and barracks for infantry, said the spokesman for Brome-Missisquoi in the House of Commons.

He wondered if the private sector can respond effectively to the needs of the military installations without affecting the security of places.

"Companies are here to make profits. '' Military standards for the private sector is not a priority", he insists.

NDP MP takes also recalled that lieutenant-general Peter Devlin, Commander of the army, has fought a year against a plan which included the outsourcing of fire protection systems.

Neglected facilities?

In Ottawa, it is suggested that the measures put forward to improve the management of the portfolio of national defence properties were designed to provide a uniform service level across the country while allowing the achievement of greater efficiency.

«The Department continues to look for new ways to maximize the performance of each dollar invested in the defence portfolio while ensuring that appropriate resources are in place (...).» The new approach turn to take advantage of the capabilities of the private sector through a new harmonisation of internal resources (...). It would be however premature, at this time, discuss places or specific situations", says Kathleen Guillot, Senior Advisor communications to national defence.

Member of Parliament Pierre Jacob says that the arguments of the Harper Government 'have nothing well convincing' and continues to believe that the use of the private sector is not the solution to all evils.

"Transforming national defence in private service, this is not the solution. There is no evidence that this approach would result in real savings. The Harper Government should instead to do its homework and upgrade its infrastructure. Significant investments will be needed to revamp these facilities, including the poor condition is due to a lack of maintenance,"he said.

According to the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, the auditor general used the terms «crumbling and aging military instrastructure», in his report of last fall, to describe the State of the military installations in the country.

The privatization plan, a confidential document, which the newspaper said obtaining copies, also mentions that many private companies will be responsible for this task by 2015.

The Ottawa Citizen said that national defence is the largest landowner in the federal Government with more than two million hectares. Its properties, said the daily, include 20,000 buildings and 23 major facilities.


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57Chevy said:
(Translated article using Bing)

He added that the NDP will follow closely and continue to hound the Harper Government to learn a little more about his intentions, while trying to make him see reason.
The translation probably provided the most accurate political reporting we've seen in a while.  ;D