Two-thirds of the 10,000 reservists mobilized by the Canadian military to face COVID-19 at a cost of more than $ 200 million depend on the comfort of their homes waiting for deployment orders.

According to information obtained by our Bureau of Investigation, only 3,500 of them were used for epidemiological activities, often for short periods of time, during long-term care companies’ interventions in Quebec and Ontario.

From April to August 2020, the Armed Forces provided no less than 207 million for the full-time salaries of the 9,711 reservists who were laid off.

“Like domestic workers in other sectors of the economy, members of the Canadian Armed Forces serve as non-actively employed reservists. [se sont préparés à l’être] “, The Armed Forces informed us in an email.

“Several mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that members do this work [de préparation] Expected from them, ”we added.

Thus they participated in compulsory training classes and were subjected to daily control calls.

Not only that

From the beginning of the epidemic, the generals of the forces decided to greatly reduce the operations of the military bases and send most of the soldiers home.

“Your place of duty is at home, safe and ready to intervene,” former Commander-in-Chief Jonathan Vance wrote in a note to all members of the Armed Forces on April 3, 2020.

In the same memo, Vance advertised full-time employment for reservists until the end of August.


Called to react, retired Lieutenant-Colonel Rami Laundry supported the idea of ​​resorting to reservists.

In his view, this decision was “sensible and reasonable” due to the uncertainty created by the epidemic and the exceptional circumstances.

He recalled that it was necessary to mobilize interlocutors to deal with possible floods or wildfires, situations in which the armed forces have been called in to intervene in recent years.

He believes it is right to keep bookers at home.

Their integration into the bases would have increased the risk of COVID-19 among the troops.

Questions arise

The Canadian Taxpayers Association is not prepared to say that mobilizing reservations is not necessary, but it is surprising that it should not be interrupted.

“This decision represents a significant cost, and it raises a number of questions,” said Franco Terrazano, a spokesman for the organization.

“Taxpayers have the right to ask why so many reservists were mobilized and why we mobilized them when we knew they were not needed at all.”

These questions need to be answered by the High Command of the Canadian Forces. Terrazzano believes.

He continues, “We need to spend the money quickly (before the end of five months).”

Unlimited cost

In his opinion, mobilization is somewhat justified by the uncertainty created by the epidemic, but it should be questionable.

“This culture of unlimited spending in the federal government is unfortunately very pervasive,” he says, “and taxpayers have a right to keep them accountable.”

What is a booker?

  • Bookers are soldiers, used when their services are needed.
  • These are fully trained players — with other careers in everyday life. In Canada, the reserve has approximately 40,000 members, spread across the Navy and Army and Air Force.
  • In the north, 5,000 natives make reservations at Ranger Corps.

Number of reservations mobilized by region

  • Atlantic: 1444
  • Quebec: 2021
  • Ontario: 2603
  • Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta: 2300
  • British Columbia: 943
  • North: 400

Source: Canadian Armed Forces

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