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The Globe and Mail

Canada sending military aid to Jamaica for hurricane season

Canada's Foreign Minister Peter MacKay speaks at a press conference in Beijing Monday April 30, 2007.

AP/Greg Baker/AP/Greg Baker

Canada is sending three helicopters and 65 military staff to Jamaica to help out during what is expected to be a rough hurricane season.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay says the military will assist with search and rescue during the season, which lasts through November.

The announcement at CFB Trenton today follows a request from the Jamaican government.

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Forecasters say high ocean temperatures and atmospheric conditions point to an above-average storm season in the Caribbean.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration is predicting seven to 10 hurricanes.

Canada and Jamaica have been increasing their military ties in recent years.

"Our government is committed to ensuring that our Canadian Forces are ready to assist our allies on the world stage, if and when the call comes," Mr. MacKay said in a news release.

"I could not be more pleased that our men and women in uniform will be working alongside members of the Jamaica Defence Force during that country's coming hurricane season."

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