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Proposed Phase-Out of Pinetree Radars
Following is text of statement which is proposed that Mr. Hellyer should make in the House this afternoon.
"A review has been made of the early warning lines in order to ascertain whether economies could be made without reducing the overall effectiveness of the system. As a result of this review and following consultation with USA and NORAD authorities, it has been decided to close down four radar stations of the RCAF Pinetree radar line.
RCAF stations Edgar, Ontario, St. Sylvestre and Parent in Quebec, and Beaverbank, Nova Scotia.
Pinetree radar stations were established as a joint venture with the USA and negotiations have now been completed to coordinate the details of the deactivation.
Some units of the Pinetree Line in Eastern Canada, which were among the first to be completed, became operational in 1952. Radar equipment was not, repeat, not as powerful or reliable as it is today and the stations were constructed relatively close together.
However, the detection and tracking capabilities of radar stations have improved through automation and other means to the extent that it is now possible to reduce the density of radar sites in Eastern Canada.
Approximately 700 military and 300 civilian manpower positions will be affected by the closing of the four radar bases. It is intended to re-assign service personnel to help alleviate current shortages in other RCAD high priority programmes.
Additionally, DND will collaborate with other departments of the government in an attempt to alleviate any hardship that might be caused to civilian employees of these radar stations.
It is intended to close down the bases as rapidly as possible and closure is expected to be generally completed this summer. An annual saving of some $6 million in operating and maintenance costs currently associated with the four stations will be realized.
A number of Air Defence radar stations in the USA were closed down last year as were doppler stations in Canada forming part of the DEW Line. Earlier this year, the deactivation of the Mid-Canada Line, built and maintained by Canada, was announced.
0536 Mar 64