Nova Scotia

Geoff Regan worried about possible cuts at the Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot

A Nova Scotia Liberal MP is concerned the federal government is planning to make cuts to the firefighting staff at the Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot in Bedford, potentially compromising safety.

DND says they're looking into concerns about firefighting staff cutbacks

The Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot is a short drive from businesses and homes in Bedford and Dartmouth. (CBC)

A Nova Scotia Liberal MP is concerned the federal government is planning to make cuts to the firefighting staff at the Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot in Bedford, potentially compromising safety.

The depot is a short drive from businesses and homes in the area.

And that's why Halifax West representative Geoff Regan says he's uneasy about the idea of cuts to the firefighting staff.

"Either having them only part of the day or eliminating them entirely, having them not at all, to me that makes no sense at all. It's irresponsible so I'm calling upon [Defence Minister Jason Kenney] to cancel any plan to eliminate or reduce these services," he said.

The Union of National Defence Employees Local 80-412 will be handing out letters to people who live close to the ammunition depot to let them know what's happening. It argues other fire crews are too far away to help in the event of an emergency.

The Magazine Hill site is staffed by five firefighters 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, says the union.

It says local leadership is justifying cuts because there haven't been any significant incidents after hours in recent years. 

"Every once in a while, we hear about 'unexploded ordinance,' as they call it, being pushed up by frost heave and that of course goes back to the explosion that took place at the Magazine in 1945. Some of those bombs are still in the ground and every once in a while one comes up and they have to stop traffic on the Magazine when they're dealing with it," Regan said.

Regan says firefighters at CFB Halifax and the ammunition depot have specialized training to know what's on site and how to deal with it.

"They would have things like torpedos and missiles and other ammunition worth millions of dollars so it's important that it be protected properly," he said.

The Department of National Defence says they're looking into the concerns about firefighting staff cutbacks

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