Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Alta., Friday, July 8, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces is facing a shortfall of several thousand troops thanks at least in part to challenges training new recruits during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Alta., Friday, July 8, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces is facing a shortfall of several thousand troops thanks at least in part to challenges training new recruits during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canadian military short thousands of troops as COVID-19 impedes training efforts

The Canadian Armed Forces were short about 2,000 regular force members and 5,000 reservists

The Canadian Armed Forces is dealing with a shortfall of several thousand troops as the COVID-19 pandemic forces the military to curb the training of new recruits.

Canada’s military is expected to have 68,000 fulltime members and 29,000 part-time reservists in uniform at any given time to conduct the numerous missions assigned to it here and overseas.

But figures provided by the Canadian Armed Forces show it was short about 2,000 regular force members and 5,000 reservists at the end of December.

The military cites one reason for the shortfall: only about a quarter of the expected number of new recruits was actually able to get trained after the pandemic forced the closure and other changes to training camps.

Spokesman Maj. Travis Smyth says the military has been able to meet its current obligations at home and abroad despite the shortfall, but that it is too early to tell what the potential medium- and long-term impacts could be.

Defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says the seriousness of the shortage will depend on how long it lasts, and that it underscores the need for the military to increase its diversity in recruitment.

READ MORE: Canadian military dealing with surge in new COVID-19 infections since December

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Canadian Armed ForcesCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A soldier walks along the outside of a crater formed through a demolition. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Military exercises assist with restoration of Lower Kootenay Band wetlands

A total of nine craters were created through demolitions, where the goal is to have them serve as future habitats for ducks and geese.

Fields Forward’s fruit press machine. (File photo)
Regional food processing facility coming to Creston

The facility will produce juices from fruits and vegetables, package vegetables for institutions, bottle jams, freeze-dry products into powders and provide other food processing services.

Al Garrecht holds up a plaque acknowledging his “service above self” from the Creston Valley Rotary Club during a tribute meeting on Feb. 9, 2021. Photo: Dave Handy
Creston Valley Rotary Club bids farewell to longtime member Al Garrecht

“Thank you, Al Garrecht. You leave an incredible legacy of service with CVRC. You live our motto, ‘Service Above Self’. Thank You.”

Shayna Jones. Photo: Louis Bockner
Kaslo performer collects stories of Black rural experience

Shayna Jones will create a performance piece about Black people ‘tucked away in the countryside’

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
MY COVID STORY: From doctor to patient

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

One recipient of a $500 donation from Kootenay Savings was Kimberley’s Spark Youth Centre. Above, Cher Berge KSCU & Bev Middlebrooks Spark. Photo submitted
Kootenay Savings hands out donations to non-profits

Employees at each branch picked a non-profit for a $500 gift

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

BC Emergency Health Services Advanced Care Paramedic Practice Educator Trevor Campbell. (Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation - Contributed)
ECG machines onboard Okanagan ambulances for quickest response to heart attacks

Donations from Lake Country, Predator Ridge, Vernon and Armstrong behind purchase of 8 live-saving machines

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Most Read