Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 Reasons to Restore the Honour

Ten reasons why the federal government should quickly and cheerfully restore the Royal honour to Canada's navy and air force:

1. The Status Quo is Uninspiring: The official bureaucratic designations Canadian Forces Maritime Command and Canadian Forces Air Command to describe Canada's modern navy and air force do not resonate with the Canadian people. Most Canadians would probably be surprised to learn that we don't officially have a Navy or an Air Force.

2. The Senate of Canada says Just-Do-It: On Tuesday, December 14, 2010, the Canadian Senate unanimously passed a motion urging the federal government to change the name of Canada’s naval force from Maritime Command to a title that includes the word 'Navy'. Both 'Canadian Navy' and 'Royal Canadian Navy' are considered acceptable by the Senate of Canada.

3. Consistent with Government Policy: It is consistent with the reputation and aims of the reelected government in Canada whose policy is committed to the Canadian Armed Forces, the restoration and preservation of Canadian Symbols and Traditions, and the unique role of the Constitutional Monarchy in Canada's life, history and culture.

4. A Timely Initiative: This August 29, 2011 will mark the 100th anniversary of the granting of the Royal prefix to Canada's naval service by HM King George V, an honour that has never been revoked from the navy (or air force) but still subsists under different names within the reorganized Canadian Armed Forces. The granting of the Royal honour to Canada's naval and air services is a proud part of our nation's heritage and military tradition deepened in loyal and devoted service and distinctly forged in battle.

5. A Salute to Serving Members: Resuming usage of the Royal designation in referring to Canada's navy and air force (retroactive to February 1, 1968), would be a salute to all of those who serve and who have served in the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force; thousands of whom have signed a petition to the Government of Canada. Reconnecting serving members to their historical roots is the best way to preserve the institutional memory of Canada's distinct yet unified armed services.

6. Veterans Support it: The vast majority of our distinguished veterans (again, thousands of whom have signed a petition), veteran groups and ex-service associations support this initiative at the grassroots level, including that of the National Council of Veteran Associations, the Submariners Association of Canada, the Chief and Petty Officers Association and almost every branch of the Royal Canadian Naval Association, among numerous others.

7. The Change is Symbolic Only: This small, but hugely symbolic restoration can be facilitated without in any way compromising the integration of military operations, or undermining the unity of the Canadian Forces acting as a single organization under the current functional command system, which was the intent of Bill C-243, The Canadian Forces Reorganization Act, 1968.

8. The Costs are De Minimis: Reinstating the traditional designations could be efficiently and gradually accomplished without material cost to Canadian taxpayers, and could be executed by a simple administrative order from the Minister of National Defence.

9. End of the Path Long Followed: The Department of National Defence under successive governments has been gradually restoring the very identities of the Navy, Army and Air Force; their ranks, uniforms, history, traditions; for decades now. Restoring the full names of the distinct services within the Canadian Forces would be a natural, proper and fitting end to the path already followed.

10. Canada Remains a Constitutional Monarchy: Pays tribute to Her Majesty's long and devoted service to Canada, and is a timely and respectful gesture that fully recognizes HM The Queen's manifest position within the navy and air force as she approaches her Diamond Jubliee in 2012. Again, a very timely initiative.

Restore the Honour!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I just received a response from the MND responding to a letter I sent in December 2010 supporting the return of the RCAF and RCN.

    This is at the end of the The MND's response:

    "The reintroduction of the titles of the former single services
    amalgamated to form the Canadian Forces IS A MATTER WE ARE CONSIDERING, and I expect that we will make a decision on this issue in the near future. I trust this information is helpful, and thank you again for writing. I
    would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your service
    in defence of Canada."

    Contrast this with an earlier response from the Minister that I received back in August of last year (before the Senate Resolution):

    "Re-introducing the titles of the former single services that were
    amalgamated to form the Canadian Forces would be inappropriate and would
    not reflect the true character of the Canadian Forces. Today's navy
    includes many wearing air force blue and even army green, and many
    sailors serve in land and air force units. Similarly, today's air force
    is not a mirror of the former Royal Canadian Air Force, nor is today's
    army identical to the former Canadian Army. All work for common goals.

    This is a monumental shift in attitude and perhaps we may see a result in our quest sooner rather than later!

  3. That is an amazing turnaround. If this comes to pass, Peter MacKay will be my personal hero forever.

  4. Many others have received the same letter

  5. Could you post this letter this is an amazing turnaround ,a complete 360. He has stated that he wanted to maintain the current setup as is. Great News by the way

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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.