Investing in Canada’s Reserve Force

News release

August 13, 2019– Ottawa, ON – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa – Vanier, on behalf of the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, highlighted new initiatives to better support Reservists at Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Carleton, ON.

The restructuring of pay is part of an overall vision outlined in our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, which also includes increasing the Reserve Force by 1,500 members and further integrating reservists into operations. Reservists will receive more money in this new system in order to more fairly compensate them for their important service. Previously, Reserve Force pay was a simple 85 percent calculation of the total Regular Force pay. Regular Force pay is composed of two parts: base pay and Military Factor. The Military Factor is a percentage added to the base salaries of Canadian Armed Forces members that compensates them for additional requirements that don’t affect most public servants. The Reserve Force is crucial to the success of our Canadian Armed Forces. Reservists come from all walks of life, and include students, civil servants, labourers, business people, academics, and former members of the Regular Force.

Upcoming investments in infrastructure were also highlighted. Approximately $250 million in repairs and upgrades to Reserve armouries and training facilities across Canada are expected over the next five years. This year will see about $38 million invested across Canada, while $1.2 million is expected for Reserve infrastructure in Ontario over 2019-20.


“This important initiative laid out in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged will ensure that our Reserve Force members are fairly compensated for their service. It is a clear demonstration of how our government and all Canadians value the dedication and sacrifices of all members of our Canadian Armed Forces.”  

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“Because of the sacrifices that our military personnel make every day, Canada remains among the safest and most secure countries in the world. Whether assisting in the recent spring flood relief efforts in New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario, or deployed on a peacekeeping mission halfway around the world, the Reserve Forces are a vital part of the Canadian Armed Forces as a whole, and the new pay structure reflects that.”

Rear Admiral Haydn Edmundson, Acting Commander, Military Personnel Command 

“The Reserve Force is an integral component of the Canadian Armed Forces and restructuring pay is just another way of integrating both components into a total force that can deliver on our defence mandate. As an organization we are always learning, growing and reviewing our programs and policies to reflect the changes we think are best for CAF, our members and their families. It’s wonderful to see this change because I think it recognizes the operational and professional commitment of the Reserves to the defence of Canada.”

Major-General Rob Roy MacKenzie, Chief of Reserves and Employer Support

Quick facts

  • The Military Factor is calculated using three military and two additional elements. The military considerations are: personal limitation and liability, separation, and posting turbulence. The two additional elements are overtime and acting for supervisors without an increase in pay. 

  • The Military Factor elements that apply to reservists under the new system are: personal limitation and liability, overtime, and acting for supervisors. 

  • Reservists cannot be posted to a different geographic location or be sent away from their families on an operation or exercise without their personal consent. This is different from Regular Force members, who are expected to move or deploy when directed, often frequently and on short notice; therefore separation and posting turbulence are not applied as part of the Military Factor

  • The change of calculation from 85 percent to a base pay plus Military Factor approach will result in an increase of 7.8 percent. For example, the pay rate for a first year corporal will increase from $140 to $153 a day. Basic pay for a lieutenant “A” will increase from $147.62 to $161.18 a day.

  • Reservists on Class A and Class B periods of service are paid on a daily rate, based on their rank and time in that rank. Reservists on Class C periods of service, such as those who deploy on operations, receive the same pay as Regular Force members, which is calculated at a monthly rate.

  • Reservists will begin receiving the new rate by the end-month pay in August 2019. That rate will be retroactive to 1 April 2019.

  • Repairs and upgrades to infrastructure will ensure our facilities can accommodate future growth in the Reserves, as well as new capabilities and equipment to support the evolving needs of a modern Reserve Force. These infrastructure projects will also help create economic opportunities for local businesses in communities across the country.

  • National Defence is also analyzing its Reserve infrastructure to help define Reservists’ longer-term infrastructure needs. The results of this study will inform future plans to modernize facilities across the country.

Associated links


Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

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