Matsqui communication station homes to come down

Department of National Defence-owned houses were originally used by service members.

Eleven houses at the Canadian Armed Forces’ Matsqui communications station are scheduled to be demolished this year or next.

Eleven houses at the Canadian Armed Forces’ Matsqui communications station are scheduled to be demolished this year or next.

Eleven houses on Matsqui Prairie, at the Canadian Armed Forces’ Matsqui communications station, are scheduled to be demolished this year or next.

The houses, which are located off of Beharrell Road, are owned by the Department of National Defence. They were vacated between August 2014 and July 2015, when the service members living there were asked to leave and moved to private housing.

Before they are torn down, the houses may be used for police or military training exercises, according to Ashley Lemiere, a national defence spokesperson.

Lemiere said the condition of the houses varies. Currently, the doors of all but one are boarded up. From the outside, it appears that many have mould or water damage.

She said the military has gradually transitioned from Crown-owned homes to private market housing in the Lower Mainland.

The Matsqui communications station was built about five decades ago as an important part of Canada’s naval radio communication system.

The long-range radio transmission equipment at Matsqui and its companion station in Aldergrove is used to communicate with naval vessels on the West Coast and in the Arctic. Technological advances now mean the station can largely be operated remotely, and the number of service members needed at the site has decreased.