Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"a matter we are considering"

The scores of veterans who wrote to the Minister of National Defence last December and January have finally received their replies, and all of them, as far as we can make out, are carbon copies of the one I reprint below. It is a matter the government is currently considering, and expects to make a decision in the near future.

Dear Restore the Honour:

Thank you for your email concerning the Senate motion to change the name of Maritime Command. I appreciate the time you have taken to express your views on this subject, and please accept my apology for this delay in responding.

The constitution of the Canadian Forces, as written in Part II of the National Defence Act, states, "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces." The terms "Canadian Forces" and "Canadian Armed Forces" were both widely used in the years immediately following unification. Canadian Forces, as the older term, was in use long before unification and has become the predominant term largely because of that previous usage.

With respect to a proposal to formally re-establish the three separate services, since integration and unification in the 1960s the structure of the Canadian Forces has continually evolved. Members of the Canadian Forces can serve a portion of their career in their own environment, in other environments, at National Defence Headquarters, and in various operational commands, while wearing a single environmental uniform. I recognize that service loyalties and affection still run deep and every Canadian Forces member is proud of his or her distinctive "service" uniform and its traditions.

Concerning the potential restoration of the title "Royal," this matter has been reviewed on many occasions with the interest and morale of serving and past members of the Canadian Forces constantly in mind. The use of the word "Royal" as a title has, in fact, never been taken away from the Canadian Forces. When the three former services were amalgamated in 1968, the traditions and customary practices of the services were combined in the new Canadian Armed Forces. The Reorganization Act permitted continued use of the title "Royal" by units that had earned the honour, as well as other titles of a similar nature granted by customary right, such as Her Majesty's Canadian Ship and The Royal Canadian Regiment.

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.


Peter MacKay
Minister of National Defence


  1. I just received a very similar email from the MND. Good news, but what is our next move?

  2. Our next move is to pray.

  3. Well, that's always a tactic, but hardly helpful. I am wondering if the Naval Officers Association has come forward with a position yet.

  4. Just received mine too. The response I got was exactly the same but since I sent my letter in January, I got an apology for the 5 month delay. But no other difference in the text.

  5. We deliberately did not write to NOA, because the opposing views of their national executive are already known, even though I strongly suspect (nay, know) most of their members are for the reinstatement. And when we tried to contact them at the branch level, no responses came back, none even from those presidents who signed the petition! The reason being that NOA branches are only semi-autonomous units, who appoint directors to the national executive. A grassroots effort was not possible because the admirals have circled the wagons and are backing their peers in DND.

  6. Pretty frickin' sad. I should really go to a local meeting and ask them to explain why I should join an organization that was against giving the navy it's true and proper name back.


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.