How a military ban affects Canadian troops abroad
The military travel restrictions imposed by the Harper government are now in effect across the country.
That means Canadians with military service will no longer be able to go on Canadian military bases overseas for family visits.
And there are new rules about who can join the military and how many.
Read more Military service is compulsory for all Canadians aged 18 to 25, including reservists.
But many of the rules are now being challenged in court.
“The new rules will apply to Canadian forces and their personnel in Canada, regardless of the country of origin of their personnel,” said Lt.-Gen. David Moore, a spokesman for the Department of National Defence.
Military travel ban affects about 40 per cent of Canadians, but the military has been reluctant to say how many people it is affected by.
It said that for now, the government is looking at the impact on military families and how those are affected by the new rules.
“The government has already begun taking action to address the impact of the restrictions, including enhancing the ability of Canadian Forces members to take military travel to Canada and reducing the number of overseas deployments of military personnel,” the statement said.
In the case of military families, the rules mean the military is no longer allowed to take them to military bases in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria, Moore said.
The military said the changes affect about 100,000 Canadian troops.
“As an added measure, the new military travel rules will also impact military family members and dependents who are currently on overseas military deployments.
The changes will not affect the military personnel in those countries,” Moore said in a written statement.
Canadian Forces soldiers will be able fly to and from the United States on military transport planes, but only for the duration of their overseas deployments.
There are also new restrictions on what Canadian Forces personnel can do in Canada.
They can’t travel to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland or Norway.
Canadian troops are also barred from taking part in concerts or sporting events.
The ban will not apply to the military’s traditional duties of helping Canadians with health problems and ensuring they are adequately cared for, Moore added.
For the first time, military members will be allowed to attend an annual Remembrance Day event with other Canadian Forces soldiers.
The government said it is working with other military services to determine what will happen next.
With files from The Canadian Press