Defence Minister Bill Blair informed the Senate during the question period that the Canadian Armed Forces are struggling to attract recruits to counter high attrition numbers. Expert testimony at the National Citizen's Inquiry directly attributed the blame to the chain of command's enforcement of Trudeau's vaccine mandate.
Blacklock's Reporter detailed Blair's testimony to the upper chamber:
"Does your biggest concern lie in recruitment?” asked Senator Tony Loffreda (Que.). “My concern is not only for recruitment, because we have to get the best talent coming in the door, but I am also concerned about retention because we have extraordinary men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces,” replied Blair. “I want to make sure we provide them with the appropriate support.”
Blair did not detail figures. Annual recruitment last year fell 35 percent from 8,069 to 5,242 volunteers according to a July 5 Department of National Defence briefing note Recruitment And Retention.
Expert evidence given at the National Citizen's Inquiry into the government's COVID response earlier in the year blames the crisis in recruitment and retention in the military, in no small part, on the Department of National Defence's vaccine policies.
Catherine Christensen, who serves as a lawyer for Canadian Armed Forces members, in her testimony before the National Citizen's Inquiry noted the vaccine mandate led to an exodus of 10% of the operational force.
Christensen also explained that because of the age and sex demographic of the military (largely young, male, and healthy) and the vaccine used (Moderna), the rates of vaccine injuries among CAF members were markedly higher than the rest of the population.
Moderna was recommended against use in young, healthy males due to the higher rates of adverse reactions after it was administered to the military.