Concerns have been raised regarding how the Canadian Military Forces treat its soldiers as a result of the intention to dramatically reduce cost-of-living allowances with little advance notice.
The Canadian Armed Forces have received criticism for its plan to abruptly cut cost-of-living allowances for 7,700 members without much notice, replacing them with a new housing benefit. Some military personnel is unhappy with the new plan, including its abbreviated timeline and a new 10% pay increase over four years, retroactive to 2021. Experts worry that the lack of notice highlights larger issues around how the military treats its personnel and may spark anger and frustration at a time when the Canadian Armed Forces are struggling with a recruitment and retention crisis. The decision to replace the military’s cost-of-living allowance follows a 14-year battle between the Department of National Defence and the Treasury Board, which had frozen allowance rates since 2009. The new housing benefit is said to be more equitable and more efficient, but some members who were receiving the cost-of-living allowance would have accounted for that money in their budgetary planning. The fact that the allowance is being taken away in a matter of months without any previous consultation or warning speaks to problems with how the chain of command communicates with its troops.