Saturday, May 1, 2010

Give back the Canadian Navy its name

Next week Canadians will celebrate the centennial of the Navy. As the federal government prepares to mark the centenary, it should give proper consideration to the grassroots campaign by members of the general public, veterans and serving members to restore the Royal Canadian Navy designation.

While celebrating the Navy’s milestone, it is only slightly amusing to consider that there is no “Canadian Navy,” at least in the nomenclature of the federal government. An odd byproduct of the unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968 left us with “Maritime Command.” As few people have a clue what Maritime Command is, the term “Canadian Navy” has crept into common usage over the past two decades; as has Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army, all terms which were discarded with unification. (The Air Force is Air Command and the Army is Land Command.)

In the past century, the Navy has taken on many tasks and accomplished them with distinction, but none more daunting and praiseworthy than its critical role in winning the Battle of the Atlantic. During that epic struggle, and for a majority of its history, it was known as the RCN.

Such a change would not require an Act of Parliament, but would require only a decision by the Minister of National Defence. It could be phased in at little cost over a period of years. It is difficult to envision a more symbolically powerful way to recognize the century of service given by countless thousands of Canadian sailors than to restore the name that saw them through three wars.


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The Petition moves along...

May 1: Laurie Hawn, M.P. agrees to support petition
April 30: Sent draft petition to The Dominion Institute to seek their sponsorship
April 28: Sent draft petition to Captain(N) Pickingford, Project Manager, Canadian Navy Centennial Project
April 27: Sent petition to Blaine Barker of the Royal Canadian Naval Association and Bob Nixon of the Naval Officer's Association of Canada and Peter Dawe, Executive Director of the RMC Club
April 26: The Monarchist League of Canada members are supportive
April 25: Interesting - even heated - debate over at the Navy, Army, Air Force Forum, where the "Yeas" have it by a two-thirds majority.