New state-of-the-art facility brings improved skills training for electrical and mechanical engineers to CFB Borden

News release

May 15, 2018 – CFB Borden, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is committed to providing the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with modern, green, and functional facilities in which they can work and train.

Today, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan participated in a building dedication ceremony for the newly-constructed Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) School at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden. Completed in March 2017, this 14,000-m2 facility will provide RCEME students with state-of-the-art training facilities well into the future.

The facility is named after the late Colonel Karen Ritchie, who was the first woman to serve as a RCEME Colonel. A former Commander of 5 Area Support Group in Quebec (now 2nd Canadian Division Support Group), and Deputy Chair of the Committee on Women in the NATO Forces, Colonel Ritchie is remembered for her dedication, enthusiasm, professionalism, and valuable contributions to the CAF.

Built to accommodate modern military vehicles and specialized training equipment, the building includes storage areas, administration and office spaces, classrooms, and six high-bay shop spaces for equipment maintenance training. This new facility will provide RCEME students with essential training to maintain land-based military equipment in support of CAF operations.

Valued at $81.7 million, this infrastructure project created approximately 150 jobs during the construction period, providing economic development opportunities for the region.

Additional multimedia

Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) School
Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) School


“The legacy built by Colonel Ritchie during her time in the Canadian Armed Forces is a shining example for the women and men of the engineering trades. This new training facility will further enable the RCEME School to provide a high standard of training for members of our CAF.”

– Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

“As part of the ongoing modernization of Base Borden, the construction of this new facility provided a much needed upgrade to base infrastructure while generating economic investments in the local community. Along with several other major infrastructure projects, this new building is moving Borden confidently into our second century of training and excellence.”

– Colonel Andrew Atherton, Commander, Canadian Forces Base Borden

“The RCEME School provides students with the skills and training needed to enhance military capability and readiness. The Colonel Karen Ritchie Building allows us to conduct this training in a modern environment, continuing to advance our Corps while preserving our history and traditions.”

– Lieutenant-Colonel Jeff Spitzig, Commandant, RCEME School

Quick facts

  • Founded in 1944, the RCEME Corps provides the leadership, innovation, and technical skills to maintain land equipment for CAF operations. The building dedication ceremony was held May 15, 2018 to align with the 74th anniversary of the RCEME Corps.

  • The RCEME School offers 54 technical courses and has an average student body of 450 students annually from both the Regular and Reserve Forces, and produces 1,800 course graduates each year.

  • The new facility was designed to meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification standard, and incorporates green building concepts to minimize its footprint.

  • As stated in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Department of National Defence (DND) is committed to greening its operations. This project will help the Department meet the federal government’s new emissions reduction target of 80% (from 2005 levels) by 2050.


Byrne Furlong
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

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