No commissionaires expected to be cut at CFB Esquimalt

Other national defence bases across country feeling financial bite

As national defence bases across Canada reportedly layoff commissionaires in an attempt to rein in spending, a construction boom at CFB Esquimalt means local commissionaires aren’t likely to see a reduction in demand.

“We’re not experiencing any change at the moment,” said John Dewer, CEO of Commissionaires Victoria, The Island and Yukon.

About 130 full-time and part-time commissionaires work at CFB Esquimalt, providing services that range from security posts to escort duties to dispatcher services. Those positions are expected to hold steady and possibly even increase as major construction projects ramp up at the base.

“We provide escorts to contractors who don’t have the necessary security clearances, so depending on what the demand is, sometimes that number is variable,” Dewer said.

CFB Esquimalt is currently undergoing a comprehensive physical security review that, among other considerations, includes commissionaire staffing levels, said Capt. Jenn Jackson, base public affairs officer.

Jackson stressed the review is in the early stages, and said Department of National Defence security policies and procedures are continuously updated to keep them effective and efficient.

Dewer said the majority of his 750-strong commissionaire force is contracted to agencies on southern Vancouver Island.