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Minister MacKay Announces Training Funding and Infrastructure Upgrades at 4 Wing Cold Lake

4 WING COLD LAKE, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/17/13 -- The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today announced a significant contract to support training for Canada's fighter jet pilots and an infrastructure upgrade to the Military Family Resource Centre's daycare facility at 4 Wing Cold Lake.

"This Government remains committed to ensuring that a sufficient number of personnel are trained to required levels and that the necessary equipment is available, for both the training and operations needed to take on future security challenges," said Minister MacKay. "At the same time, we are investing in the health of military communities and daycare facilities, which form a vital component of our government's efforts to improve the quality of life for the personnel serving at 4 Wing."

Minister MacKay announced the awarding of a $19.6 million contract to Select Global International Limitee of Laval, Quebec to provide CF-18 pilot training and simulator operation services to the Canadian Armed Forces. The training services contract will help to sustain at least 12 jobs in Cold Lake and in Bagotville, Quebec. The contract covers a period of five years, with options that could extend the contract to 10 years, and provides CF-18 pilots with training on the updated aircraft and weapons systems, while reducing airframe fatigue and overall operating costs for the CF-18 fleet.

The $1.9 million daycare project will increase the existing available space by about 20 per cent (350.8 square metres). This increase in size will result in an additional number of available child care spaces for 4 Wing personnel.

The Government of Canada has taken other steps to improve the quality of life at 4 Wing Cold Lake. The Minister has announced a 10 per cent reduction on a proposed rent increase for Canadian Armed Forces military housing at the Wing. 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 one per cent.

The Minister of National Defence, Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Member of Parliament, Brian Storseth, held a roundtable with military personnel on base following the Minister's announcement.

"Brian Storseth continues to work tirelessly for those he represents and I thank him for his work on this file," added Minister MacKay.

Under the authorities conferred to the Minister of National Defence, Minister MacKay has already 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 for 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.

4 Wing Cold Lake is the busiest fighter base in Canada. It provides general purpose, multi-role, combat capable forces in support of domestic and international roles of Canada's Air Force.

Note to Editors: For more information please contact Captain Sandra Bourne, Public Affairs Officer, 4 Wing Cold Lake, Tel: 780-840-8000 ext.8121, Email: [email protected]

Information: 1-866-377-0811/613-996-2353

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