By The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — New figures show the Canadian Armed Forces are struggling with a growing shortage of personnel even as the military faces more and more demands at home and abroad.
While the military is supposed to have just over 100,000 troops at full strength, new Defence Department figures show it was short about 12,000 regular force troops and reservists at the end of November.
The shortfall is worse than at the end of 2020, when military was short about 7,000 troops as the onset of the pandemic forced recruiting centres and training schools to close for months.
The latest figures also show another 10,000 troops were unavailable for duty at the end of November because they were either untrained, sick or injured.
Revelations about the growing shortfall come as the military faces a rising number of demands internationally and in Canada, including requests from some provinces for help with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Military commanders are also struggling with what to do with hundreds of soldiers who have refused to get vaccinated despite an order to that effect from chief of the defence staff Gen. Wayne Eyre.