Canadian Forces vet says new fitness test geared to cut staff

Dozens of Van Doos, members of the 22e Infantry Regiment based in Valcartier, Que., participate in...

Dozens of Van Doos, members of the 22e Infantry Regiment based in Valcartier, Que., participate in an exercise as part of Exercise Mountain Star, a two-week training exercise hosted by 8 Wing/CFB Trenton. (JEROME LESSARD/QMI AGENCY)

Jessica Hume, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:28 PM ET

OTTAWA — Not all members of the Canadian Forces are convinced a new fitness test is just about trimming waistlines.

Some believe the exponentially more rigorous test is a misnomer for a forced reduction plan — and not just because its timing coincides with budget cuts to the department.

With budget cuts to the National Defence at 13% this year and overseas operations winding down, a retired Canadian Forces member also questioned the decision to apply the test equally to all men and women regardless of age, wondering how the military can increase the number of women in the forces while prescribing a test that is measurably more challenging for women and older men.

"This is a much cheaper way to cut down the military while saving money by not offering any money for early release," the former member said. "This is a concerted effort to cut older and female soldiers."

Defence Minister Peter MacKay denied those claims.


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