Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So what's the next step?

So what's the next step, a commenter on the previous post asks. The next step is to continue building support from those who care deeply about this issue - namely, our distinguished veterans and ex-service men and women, and the associations with which they belong. The goal posts have changed significantly over the past month, so three things to note as we head into the new year:

1. The outcome from the Senate hearings investigating Senator Rompkey's motion that the name of Maritime Command be officially changed to the 'Canadian Navy' is highly uncertain. This is a critical point because if the Senate passes the motion, and the Government acts upon it (unlikely in my view), we are dead meat. Although there are numerous pro-RCN Senators cheering in our corner, it would be wishful thinking to believe they could successfully amend the motion and carry the day, but you never do know. But thankfully given the reality of the Senate being split on the issue, I am hopeful that the whole matter will now be kicked into the long grass for second sober thought.

2. The Canadian Naval Centennial is almost over, therefore the petition will be updated so that it continues to be forward-looking. Obviously these things have greater success when they are tied to events, and here we are extremely fortunate given the upcoming Diamond Jubilee in 2012. There is no question in my mind that our loyal veterans have a deep and continuing affinity for the Queen, and they will no doubt be supportive of any initiative that would strive to honour her long service to Canada.

3. The focus and target of our initiative has changed, and for the better. In light of Christopher McCreery's confirmation that the RCN and RCAF were never abolished, but continue to legally subsist within the Canadian Forces in the form of Maritime Command and Air Command, our petition can no longer be directed at Parliament. We cannot petition Parliament to restore that which was never taken away. This is a welcome development because it allows us to morph from a potentially divisive campaign into a popular veteran's grassroots effort to honour the Queen.

Canadian organizations are now in preparation mode for the Diamond Jubilee. Our intention is to be part of that process from a veteran's and ex-service point of view. Our team is currently recruiting the key people who will recruit the relevant groups and associations. This will take a few months, but we are well underway already. I will keep you apprised of significant developments.

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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.