Chilliwack to welcome the ‘Westies’

Aldergrove unit with the Royal Westminster Regiment will be relocated to Chilliwack

Royal Westminster Regiment is moving its Aldergrove detachment to Chilliwack.

Royal Westminster Regiment is moving its Aldergrove detachment to Chilliwack.

Chilliwack will soon have a stronger Canadian Forces reserve outfit in town, but at the heels of the Area Support Unit’s closure.

The Royal Westminster Regiment’s Aldergove detachment is relocating to the 5535 Korea Road building in Chilliwack by April 1. The regiment hopes to bring a “platoon-sized element” of 30 reserve infantry units to the base.

The New Westminster headquarters say the move is in line with the regiment’s historical presence at either end of the County of Westminster.

“We’re maintaining that footprint in the Fraser Valley, but consolidating,” says Captain Braden Greaves, adjutant for the Royal Westminster Regiment. “Instead of having some reserve functions in Chilliwack and some in Aldergrove, we’re just going on opposite ends of the Fraser Valley.”

Meanwhile, the Canadian Forces continue to reduce its dedicated support units nationwide, and Chilliwack’s ASU is no exception. The ASU will close sometime in March, before the end of its fiscal year on 31 March. Chilliwack’s service battalion will take over many of its functions.

Of the 40 current ASU military staff, 13 will remain at the Chilliwack base in other capacities, and 27 will be reallocated to various Canadian Forces departments across the country.

According to Major W. H. Brinkman of the ASU, the Canadian Forces will maintain its current level of funding for reserve units, to ensure that staff are able to respond to any domestic crises, such as flooding or fire.

“The reserves continue to be a priority for the department,” says Brinkman.

Although there will be no job losses for ASU military staff, 17 of the 22 full-time civilians within the department are losing their jobs. Four have already found other public service positions, while some are taking the opportunity to retire. The contracts of all 11 casual ASU staff will likewise not be renewed beyond March.

The cuts are part of the federal government’s drive to reduce the number of public service staff, says Brinkman, and new civilian jobs are unlikely.

“Currently, and for the next several years, it will be an exercise in rationalizing and reducing the number of civilians that we have in the public service,” he says.

In other news, the 1041 Caen Road building has been deemed surplus, and Ottawa is in the early stages of determining the structure’s fate.

Brinkman expects that following this phase of restructuring, there will be at least a couple of years of stability for the Canadian Forces in Chilliwack.

akonevski@theprogress.com

twitter.com/WriteInBC

Just Posted

A new sign was installed at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, June 5, 2021 in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community effort to install new sign at Chilliwack’s oldest church

‘We feel it’s a step in the right direction to bring the church up-to-date,’ says St. Thomas parishioner

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

A student prepares to throw a plate full of whipped cream at principal Jim Egdcombe’s face as vice principal Devin Atkins watches as part of a fundraiser at Leary Integrated Arts and Technology elementary on Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
The pied principals: Chilliwack elementary staff get messy for charity

Cops for Cancer fundraiser saw kids ‘pie the principal’ at Leary elementary in Chilliwack

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)
Shining a light on brain injury in Canada

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Most Read