Liberals pull plug on 12-year-old plan to move elite Joint Task Force 2 unit


OTTAWA — The Liberal government is pulling the plug on a 12-year-old plan to move the military’s elite Joint Task Force 2 from its base near the national capital.

The decision ends more than a decade of speculation and uncertainty for the commando unit’s members and their families as well as the Ontario community of Trenton, where the new base was to be located.

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government bought a large swath of land for the new facility near Canadian Forces Base Trenton and announced the plan to move the unit in 2007.

Among those whose land as expropriated was farmer Frank Meyers, whose ultimately unsuccessful fight to keep his 90-hectare farm north of the existing base made national headlines.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan did not provide reasons for the government’s cancelling Joint Task Force 2’s move from its current base outside Ottawa.

But defence officials have previously spoken of a desire to keep the elite unit close to Ottawa and Postmedia reported last year that the estimated cost of the new base had more than tripled from $346 million to $1.2 billion.