Military Now Accepting Permanent Residents, Drops Citizenship Requirement

Military Now Accepting Permanent Residents, Drops Citizenship Requirement
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march at a parade in Calgary on July 8, 2016. (The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh)
Peter Wilson

The military is now accepting permanent residents and has dropped its requirement that enlistees must be Canadian citizens.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) made the announcement on Nov. 5 amid ongoing reports of the military’s recruitment crisis.

In October, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre called attention to the staffing shortage, saying there needs to be “a whole-of-society effort to help us bring the Armed Forces back to where it needs to be for the dangerous world ahead.”

The CAF’s new basic recruitment requirements are that either Canadian citizens or permanent residents aged 18 years and older can apply so long as they have completed schooling at least up to grade 10.

Eyre recently told the Armed Forces Council in a leaked briefing note that the military’s attrition rate is at its highest point in over 15 years, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

“Although attrition was forecast to be higher than average for two years post-pandemic, we are realizing likely 1000 higher than forecast, the highest in 15 years,” Eyre said in the note.

National Defence told The Epoch Times in a previous email that the military’s total attrition rate for the 2021-2022 fiscal year was 9.3 percent.

In his briefing note, Eyre also said the CAF is going through a “workforce crisis” and said the military needs a “reconstitution” to bring recruitment numbers back up.
Eyre ordered a halt to all non-essential military activities in early October, in order to focus more CAF resources on recruitment and retention.
In the same order, Eyre wrote that “personnel and staffing issues, combined with a changing demographic and expectations of our existing and potential work force, continue to challenge both the strength and the readiness of the CAF.”

He said there has been “significant loss of experience and expertise” within the military recently, and added that the problem needs to be quickly resolved to ensure Canada is “a relevant and trusted partner” in the future.

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.