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Minister MacKay and Member of Parliament Brian Storseth Announce Measures to Improve the Quality of Life of Canadian Armed Forces Families

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/30/12 -- The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Mr. Brian Storseth, Member of Parliament for Westlock-St. Paul, today announced a 10 per cent reduction on a proposed rent increase for Canadian Armed Forces military house at 4 Wing Cold Lake as well as a cap on rent increases for most Privates and all Officer Cadets across Canada.

"I am pleased to work collaboratively with Minister MacKay to deliver this important measure for the men and women who serve to defend Canada and protect Canadian interests," said Mr. Storseth. "Today's announcement ensures that our members know that wherever they are stationed in Canada, our government is acting in their best interests."

The monthly charge for military housing in Cold Lake would have increased next year by almost 9 per cent, or an average of $92, without this measure. Military housing in Cold Lake will instead have an average rent reduction of around 1 per cent.

"Further to the measures taken at Cold Lake our government is also acting to ensure that the rent increases of most privates and officer cadets are no more than 2.21 percent across the country - in line with the average rent increase for military housing of 2.2 percent," said Minister MacKay. "Brian Storseth continues to work tirelessly for those he represents and I thank him for his work on this file."

Under the authorities conferred to the Minister of National Defence, Minister MacKay acted to ensure measures are in place to minimize the impact of a rent increase on those members earning less. The Minister authorized a rent increase limit of 2.21 per cent for fiscal year 2013-2014 for Privates at the first and second pay incentives as well as Officer Cadets across Canada. This figure is in line with an average national rent increase for military housing across Canada but ensures that those earning less are not subjected to large rental variances because of local economic surges.

Over the last ten years, Privates at the first and second pay incentives saw their monthly rate of pay increase by 27 per cent, while Officer Cadets have seen a 25 per cent increase in their monthly rate of pay.

"The Government of Canada is using all the tools at its disposal to ensure that Canadian Armed Forces members and their families can enjoy a good quality of life, regardless of where they live in the country," said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff.

DND housing is appraised annually by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The appraisal is based on many factors, such as type, size, age, access to amenities, and general condition of the units. This formula allows for rent for military housing to be comparable to that charged for similar homes in the local market.

As such, the monthly rent cannot be increased by more than $100 per month, regardless of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's appraisal value, and it cannot exceed 25 per cent of a family's gross annual income, not including parking costs and costs for fuel and utilities.

All these measures will be effective on April 1, 2013.

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