July 20, 2024
Recent stats, from the 2021-22 fiscal year, show the military dealt with “critical shortfalls” in more than 61 per cent of its occupations — up from 17.9 per cent two years earlier and much higher than the target of no more than five per cent.

How Canada’s military fell into crisis — and why failing to save it has deep consequences for us all

Canada’s military is facing a series of problems that without a serious infusion of cash and attention from the federal government could threaten our standing n a more unpredictable world.

OTTAWA—On paper, she seems to be exactly what the Canadian military needs. An enthusiastic would-be recruit, married to a current soldier, and already living on the Canadian forces’ base at Petawawa.

But it has been months, she said, and she hasn’t heard back on even the first step of her application — despite a number of failed attempts to wrangle information from a recruitment call centre. Added to this was the discovery of what she claimed was lead paint on the walls of their army-issued house, and the couple is on the verge of quitting for civilian life.

“I’ve always wanted to be part of the forces and represent our country, especially as a woman,” she said, speaking to the Star on condition she isn’t identified.

“I don’t know if I’m still willing to do it,” she continued. “It’s horrible. It’s messy. It makes you think: is it even worth joining this, if this is what it’s going to be?”

That’s not the type of testimonial the Canadian Armed Forces would like to see as it struggles to overcome a personnel deficit that, as of December, exceeded 15,000 regular and reserve members. Most recent stats, from the 2021-22 fiscal year, show the military dealt with “critical shortfalls” in more than 61 per cent of its occupations — up from 17.9 per cent two years earlier and much higher than the target of no more than five per cent.

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