OTTAWA — The Canadian military says it is changing the way it answers calls for help in the face of growing demands for disaster-related assistance in recent years.
The Canadian Forces has been asked to respond to 10 weather-related disasters over the past two years, compared to 20 in the decade leading up to 2016, according to an analysis by The Canadian Press.
And the emergencies appear to be getting bigger, meaning the military is being forced to deploy more people and resources over larger geographic areas.
While officials say the military will continue to play a back-up role for provinces, the Forces is nonetheless adapting to ensure it is ready to respond when called upon but that doing so does not keep it from its other duties.
That includes expanding the already sizable role that reservists play in disaster responses so regular-force units can continue training for other tasks such as overseas missions.
It has also recently introduced new training for some troops to deal with wildfires, which have emerged as a major threat in western Canada in recent years.