In response to a petition started by Project Naval Distinction Founder and Executive Director, Patrick White, the Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan has confirmed that Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Haida will be named Flagship of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in 2018. The response was tabled in the House of Commons on January 29th, 2018 (included below).
“Recognition of HMCS Haida, the ‘fightingest’ ship in Canadian history, as the Royal Canadian Navy Flagship has been a prime objective of Project Naval Distinction and is a symbolic way of honouring her incredible story,” White said.
The Haida has not been formally recognized by the RCN since she was paid off (retired from service) in 1963, despite being considered to be the ‘Vimy Ridge’ or ‘Billy Bishop’ of the RCN. She currently serves as a museum ship and National Historic Site alongside Hamilton, ON, after having been located alongside Toronto for 40 years.
Project Naval Distinction is calling for the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy to be named the Honorary Captain of the Haida and a ceremony to take place during Veterans’ Week in November, when Canadians are focused on honouring the service and sacrifice of our Veterans.
In a letter sent to the Minister of Finance Bill Morneau in December 2017, Project Naval Distinction submitted two designs for circulation currency coins and is awaiting a response to confirm if they will be produced in time for the Flagship ceremony.
Project Naval Distinction would like to thank all of our supporters who signed our Founder’s petition, signed up to send letters to the Minister and spread the work about what we are trying to achieve. There’s more to do!