Friday, December 10, 2010

The unfortunate part of Senator Rompkey's otherwise exemplary motion

I would argue that the valiant history of Canada's centennial navy could be viewed as progressing from the Royal (Canadian) Navy to the Royal Canadian Navy in its own right, but Senator Rompkey has an absurd understanding of the royal designation:

...just as Canada has emerged from the shadow of Britain to tread the world stage as a respected and able nation in its own right, so did the Canadian Navy emerge from the shadow of the RN to become a world-renowned navy in its own right. It has become a navy reflecting the diversity, creativity, competence and multi-culturalism of the country itself.

This chamber is not the Royal Canadian Senate, although we owe much to British origins; we are the Senate of Canada. We are Canadians with our own constitution and identity. So it is with the Canadian Navy, with its own insignia, customs, practices and history...

The face of young Canada is rapidly changing. The demographic is no longer one of British, or even European, ancestry. The talent pool for the future navy has no connection with the royal designation. As the population ages, the navy is in an almost life and death competition with every other industry. If the navy does not attract more Aboriginals, more francophones, more of the anglophone and francophone immigrant communities and visible minorities, it will die a slow death.

His Royal Canadian Senate bit that him and other Senators keep repeating is meant to sound silly (which it is, since there is no historical connection), but it is pathetic to suggest that the Royal Canadian Navy would come across similarly bad, when it has a long and distinguished history under that name. But the truly pitiful part is the statement that our diverse talent pool and ethnicity as a nation has no connection with the royal designation. This is obviously a truly contemptuous thing to say, and it is totally misguided and absurd to state that we should dispense with the royal honour in order for national institutions like the navy to avoid their inevitable death. Oh, puleeze Senator! if anything recruiting will go up if you just give back the navy's traditional brand.


  1. It also shows how little Sen Rompkey knows about his own institution. Since the Senate is one of the three constituent parts of Parliament, along with the Commons and the Crown, it does not belong to the Crown the way that the armed forces do.

  2. Indeed, good catch. We should write to our dear Royal Canadian Senator and ask him why he is so blithely unaware of the reason our 800 year old Parliament even exists. Its hard-won privileges were not an honour dispensed by the Crown, but rights and freedoms gained during pivotal moments in confrontation with it.


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.