Canadian Primary Reserve Infantry

I'm just posting to ask some questions about the structure of the Canadian Primary Reserve infantry and how it works.

It seems to me that there is a disproportionate amount of Canadian reserve infantry to regular infantry battalions. There are something like 55 Canadian reserve infantry battalions compared to a mere 14 here in the UK.

Many reserve battalions in the UK struggle to keep up to the required manning levels and the like so I'm wondering at how it works in Canada with so many battalions.

Is joining the Primary Reserve some sort of rite-of-passage that everyone does, if not then how do so many battalions keep up to strength (indeed, what is the full strength of a Primary Reserve battalion)?

Just out of curiosity really.

Many of the PRes regiments here in smaller towns and cities were reduced from battalion strength to company strength in the 1990s. My local unit parades about 100 personnel nowadays, which is a considerable improvement on the 1970s and 1980s when there was a bare handful out.

Happily, in May of this year, the Defence Minister reactivated the Halifax Rifles (RCAC) that had been reduced to nil strength and placed on the Supplementary Order of Battle in 1965. So far, it's the only regiment that's ever been reorganised.
The Army Reserve in Canada is still based on the idea that if the Russians come pouring through the Fulda Gap we'll march down the street and enlist all the locals, swell to full strength, and all go do our bit for Queen and Country. As a result most of those Regiments are actually platoon to company sized, all be it with a full RHQ, which is as often as not full time. There has been a lot of discussion about amalgamating units and/or "tactically grouping" units so two regiments would share one HQ but retain their colours and traditions. Naturally it's been met with some opposition, shockingly reservist CO's and RSM's don't like the idea of loosing their jobs.
I can't remember the exact figures, but the reserve infantry battalions, as well as armoured and artillery regiments etc, were reduced in size in the 1960s, and again in the 1990s. I don't think any of them are actually allowed to recruit more than 200 personnel, in fact the figure could be even lower.
Sadly, the Reserve is being gutted and downsized by the DND and Government to pay for the costs of fighting in Afghanistan and to make clear spaces for returning 'vets' when 2011 comes 'round.. massive lay-offs and cuts to training going on, press is only getting dribs and drabs of it.. And Gen. Leslie is the crux of the matter and is riding herd on any dissent...

Canada is one of the few countries [ if not the only one ] where the reserves are smaller than the reg force.. usually its a ratio of three to one with more part-timers than full to keep up the military...

cost of refurbishing/replacing all the stuff that got used/worn out in the 'Stan, shipped to Haiti and supplied to a bunch of low-vis African 'ventures' and other ' promised' upgrades ' government promised [ still waiting on replacement choppers, where are the Arctic patrol vessels, the operational nuke subs, the new warships, next generation of fighter planes?.. etc. etc. etc...]

okay,, rant over, meds are kicking in...

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