Dear Honourable Senators,
As the co-chief organizer of the grassroots petition to restore the royal prefix to the Canadian navy, I was deeply disappointed to learn that former sailors have been instructed to remain quiet about changing the naval force's name back to the Royal Canadian Navy. (See: "Don't rock boat on name change: Navy" http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2010/11/22/16267791.html)
As you are of course aware, serving members of the Canadian Forces - no matter their present rank or position - are not permitted to petition the Government, nor are they permitted to interfere in matters that come before Parliament for consideration. So exactly whom in the navy's current leadership is bringing pressure upon the past rank and file and resisting grassroots movements - like the naval associations - who merely wish to restore the navy to its rightful historical title - should be a matter of profound public concern. We should be grateful that retired Cmdr. Chris Thain has brought this disturbing revelation to the attention of the Standing Committee on National Defence.
I should point out that despite the apparent chill from upon high, more than five thousand veterans, ex-service personnel, retired flag officers, relatives and family members of our serving military have signed the online petition to restore the Royal Designation to the navy as a fitting tribute to celebrate Canada's naval centennial. (See petition: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/restore-the-royal-designation-to-the-canadian-navy-and-canadian-air-force.html)
We believe this important symbolic change would be the final step in reversing the misguided actions of 1968 that abolished naval ranks, uniforms and traditions, all of which were totally unnecessary in the otherwise commendable policy of integrating the three services of the Canadian Forces. The basic reality continues that "Canadian Forces Maritime Command" will never resonate with the Canadian public, so why not do our men and women in uniform the sensible and easy honour of restoring the navy's traditional name. I'm absolutely confident that you recognize this to be a styling issue only, which can be readily accomplished without material cost or without in any way changing the unified command structure of the Canadian Forces.
Yours very truly,
Campaign to restore the Royal Designation to the Canadian navy and air force