Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Royal Canadian Navy an 'elegant' name.

A mostly good article except the disappointing part where he unjustly reduces the 5000 veterans and former military members who signed the petition into the cranky misnomer "monarchist". A simple scan of the many comments left by petitioners would clearly show that the vast majority of those who support this initiative are former naval and air force people. A sour point in an otherwise good news story.

OTTAWA — Changing the name of Maritime Command to the Canadian Navy — or CN — would cause confusion between it and the national railway, according to the dean of law at the University of Western Ontario.

Also, the Royal Canadian Navy has an “elegance” to it.

Those are two reasons Ian Holloway, who spoke at the Senate's defence committee Monday, wants the navy — officially called Maritime Command since 1968 — to revert to the old name of Royal Canadian Navy.

The Senate is studying a motion by Liberal Sen. William Rompkey, who wants to change the name to Canadian Navy.

Holloway, a former chief petty officer in the Navy, said doing so would be, "the wrong move" for several reasons, including "brand confusion" with Canadian National Railway.

"We live in a world of acronyms and in a Canadian context the acronym CN is already taken," he said. "To call it CN would risk brand confusion with our national railway."

Many have suggested a name change would invigorate the force with a better sense of identity and would undo some of the malaise caused when the three forces were joined into the Canadian Forces in 1968.

While everyone agrees the name Maritime Command is terrible, senators and witnesses are squaring off over whether to call it Royal or not.

Numerous retired members of the navy have suggested the rank-and-file don't want Royal in the name, and some senators believe it conjures up a colonial past that doesn’t reflect the modern Canadian navy as independent.

But a recent petition of monarchists has more than 5,000 signatures calling for the Royal Canadian Navy to be the name once again.

Unfortunately, polling the sailors themselves would be “inappropriate,” according to committee chair Senator Pamela Wallin.

"Feelings are strongly split on this," she said. "You can't really poll members of the military because it would be inappropriate for them to engage in what essentially will be a political debate.

"So we're just trying to pull together some of the evidence and comments so people know what the arguments are."

A recommendation from the committee on a potential name change is expected next year. This year was the navy's 100th anniversary.



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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.