07/09/2013 02:14 EDT | Updated 09/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Craig Copeland Not Surprised By RCAF Members Report By Ombudsman

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail
COLD LAKE, Alta. - The mayor of an Alberta town next to an air base says he's not surprised by a report that says some military members stationed there have to take second jobs to make ends meet.

Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland says town council has been discussing problems such as high rent for the last five years.

Canadian Forces ombudsman Pierre Daigle found that the cost of living in Cold Lake has increased greatly in recent years driven largely by growth in the oil and gas industry.

Daigle said some air force members choose to retire rather than accept a posting at 4 Wing Cold Lake — one of the country's principal fighter bases.

Copeland says he thinks Daigle's finding that 10 to 35 per cent of defence personnel there have second jobs is actually too low.

The mayor says a lot of businesses in Cold Lake would be hurting for staff if it weren't for military members looking for work in the community.

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