Military reserve running 19 per cent under strength as part-timers bail

The bottom appears to have fallen out of the military reserves with the latest government figures showing a shortfall of 5,293 part-time soldiers, sailors and aircrew.

OTTAWA — The bottom appears to have fallen out of the military reserves with the latest government figures showing a shortfall of 5,293 part-time soldiers, sailors and aircrew.

The numbers were released in federal departmental performance reports for the last budget year, which also show the military’s medical branch has 367 unfilled positions — both uniformed and civilian.

A handful of those vacancies are in the mental-health section, which was the subject of an intense recruiting campaign following a string of suicides in late 2013 and early 2014.

The performance report, tabled as Parliament returned this week, also raises the flag about the army’s non-combat vehicles, which have a serviceability rate of just 60 per cent — something National Defence claims does not affect its ability to operate and defend the country.

In one of its final acts in power, the former Harper government last summer issued a tender for logistics trucks — a program a decade in the making that had become a political and fiscal football.

Defence officials blame the drop in reservist numbers to 21,707 on a higher-than-expected departure rate and challenges in meeting recruiting quotas.

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

Just Posted

Alberta announces 98 new cases of COVID-19

City of Red Deer has no COVID-19-related deaths

The Red Deer Public Market will not open next month

It’s being postponed indefinitely to reduce public gatherings

Women’s Fun Run is ‘re-imagined’ for May 9

Families can register for free and do any activity at home

WATCH: Red Deer emergency call centre hours change starting next week

Hours at the City of Red Deer’s COVID-19 emergency call centre will… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

David Marsden: Hospital parking should always be free

If you need to visit a patient at a hospital or other… Continue reading

Woman scared for brother in Calgary long-term care home with COVID-19 deaths

Woman scared for brother in Calgary long-term care home with COVID-19 deaths

Person connected to Red Deer College tests positive for COVID-19

‘I wish this individual well,’ says president

COVID-19 crisis distracting from flood-prone First Nation’s plight: NDP

COVID-19 crisis distracting from flood-prone First Nation’s plight: NDP

Judge sides with woman accused of spying for Russia, orders new hearing

Judge sides with woman accused of spying for Russia, orders new hearing

Ont. court upholds murder conviction in death of girl found in burning suitcase

Ont. court upholds murder conviction in death of girl found in burning suitcase

Most Read