Project Naval Distinction is an independent, citizen-initiative focused on ensuring that all branches of the Canadian Armed Forces are given proper recognition across Canada.
As a nation bordered by three oceans and the longest coastline in the world, that recognition must include the Royal Canadian Navy.
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) HAIDA is known as Canada’s ‘Fightingest’ Ship due to its outstanding record during the Second World War, the Korean War and peacetime service during the Cold War. The HAIDA has also been proudly acknowledged as the Royal Canadian Navy’s ‘Billy Bishop’ or ‘Vimy Ridge’ – together forming the ‘tri-service icons of excellence’.
HMCS HAIDA is a symbol of Canada’s ability to punch above its weight on the world stage and honouring its service is our obligation as we celebrate our country’s proud history.
The success of Project Naval Distinction depends upon your support, please click here and send a letter today.
To achieve its mission, Project Naval Distinction has three objectives:
- designate HMCS HAIDA as the ceremonial flagship of the Royal Canadian Navy;
- integrate HMCS HAIDA as a permanent part of the Canadian War Museum, thereby greatly increasing its ability to connect with more Canadians and strengthening its long-term financial sustainability; and
- task the Royal Canadian Mint to commission a coin, featuring the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Billy Bishop and HMCS HAIDA, thereby representing all branches of the Canadian Armed Forces.
The peace and freedom that we enjoy today is due to the courage and sacrifice of the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces who answered the call in the name of a truly noble cause. Their efforts should have a prominent place in the ceremonies and celebrations across Canada.
This means having a strong presence in the National Capital.
The Canadian Army has presence through the use of artillery on Parliament Hill and the transport and display of Army vehicles, such as jeeps, LAVs (Light Armoured Vehicles) or tanks.
The Royal Canadian Air Force does fly pasts over Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial, which are visual and audible ways to remind Canadians and officials of the efforts of our aircrew.
Historical equipment, technology and stories from the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force are abundant at the Canadian War Museum and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, which receive hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
However, for the Royal Canadian Navy, there is a great challenge in achieving the presence that allows for just and due appreciation of its contribution to Canada. This is particularly concerning as Canada’s economy is said to ‘float on salt water’ and the threats and dangers faced by the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy are still very real today.
Having a strong presence in the National Capital is important because located there are national decision-makers in the military and the federal government, including Parliamentarians. Giving HMCS HAIDA a permanent place, fitting of its service, will also make it accessible to more Canadians. In 2014-2015, the Canadian War Museum received 32 times more annual visitors than HAIDA in the same period, amounting to more than 81% of the population of Hamilton, ON. This move will make HMCS HAIDA more sustainable so she can be enjoyed by future generations.
Recognition of Canada’s military should include all branches of the Canadian Armed Forces. Supporting Project Naval Distinction is how you can help ensure that happens!