Canadian Navy struggling with vacancies


The Royal Canadian Navy is grappling with what its commander calls a personnel “crisis” as hundreds of positions go unfilled.

Vice Admiral Angus Topshee says he needs nearly 1,400 sailors to reach full strength, or about 17 percent of the navy’s total strength.

As the shortfall comes amid a recruiting crisis in the Canadian Armed Forces, Topshee says vacancies include many mid-level Navy positions.

This forces him to move less experienced sailors into leadership positions, as those with more experience are assigned to train new recruits.

It also forces a close look at how the Navy treats its sailors, as well as assessing which jobs are essential to Navy operations and which are not.

Topshee recently announced that the Navy is eliminating steward positions, whose primary role is to serve officers and provide logistical support on naval vessels.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 27, 2022.