Loading articles...

Feds to offer full-time work to all military reservists as part of COVID-19 response

Last Updated Apr 3, 2020 at 2:16 pm EDT

Reservists help pack military vehicles with boats and fuel at CFB Kingston Kingston, Ont., on May 9, 2017. The federal government is planning to offer full-time employment to all reservists in the Canadian Armed Forces until the end of the summer. The move is intended to make sure the military has enough troops should it be called upon to respond to COVID-19, a natural disaster such as a flood or both at the same time. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

OTTAWA — The federal government is planning to offer full-time employment to all reservists in the Canadian Armed Forces until the end of the summer.

The move is intended to make sure the military has enough troops should it be called upon to respond to COVID-19, a natural disaster such as a flood, or both at the same time.

It is also a way to help reservists and their families and communities better weather the economic damage that many Canadians are feeling due to COVID-19.

Canada has around 25,000 army, navy and air force reservists, most of whom serve one day a week plus one weekend a month.

However, reservists are often called upon to assist with natural disasters in Canada each year and can represent 20 to 30 per cent of military personnel deployed on any overseas mission.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said earlier this week that military commanders were preparing to mobilize up to 24,000 troops, including reservists and Canadian Ranger patrols, to help with COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020.

The Canadian Press