The federal Liberal government has now opened up membership in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to permanent residents to curry new recruits as the military struggles to attract fresh soldiers. 

Not only will the CAF open up the doors to permanent residents, it will also launch a campaign to persuade them to pursue a military career. 

“To grow and meet the challenges of tomorrow, the Canadian Armed Forces needs to recruit, train, and retain diverse talent in Canada. This talent includes permanent residents, who will bring great enthusiasm, experience, and knowledge to the Defence Team,” said Chief of the Defence Staf Gen. Wayne Eyre in a statement

“We receive much interest from permanent residents looking to join the Canadian Armed Forces to serve their new country, and our recruiters are keen to begin conversations with these prospective members of our team.”

Prior to the announcement membership in the Canadian military was limited to citizens.

Like other nations, Canada has also accepted applications from members of allied militaries in the past. 

Joining the military as a permanent resident will also come with perks including a “facilitated pathway” for citizenship, according to Minister of Immigration Sean Fraser. 

The military is struggling to find recruits to fill 71,500 positions needed to maintain training and bases, man naval vessels and participate in operations domestically and abroad. 

As of Jan. 2022 nearly 1,000 unvaccinated CAF members were facing formal proceedings for refusing to follow a Covid-19 vaccine mandate. Over 1,300 personnel have also requested exemptions, which were recently denied by a Federal Court. 

Despite Gen. Eyre lifting the vaccine mandate, the military has indicated it will continue with disciplinary procedures for those who held out against vaccination. 

As exclusively reported by True North last year, unvaccinated members of the CAF faced an “unsuitable for further service” release. 

Regulations detail that the release applies to those who were “either wholly or chiefly because of factors within his control, develops personal weakness or behaviour or has domestic or other personal problems that seriously impair his usefulness to or impose an excessive administrative burden on the Canadian Forces.”