Canada’s First Naval Recruits November 1910

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Video / December 14, 2016


Canada’s First Naval Recruits November 1910

(Photos of sailors and ships).

In times of crisis

We look to our Navy

1914-1918 1st World War

Sir John Douglas Hazen (Con), Minister of the Naval Service, 29 March 1915

“On the declaration of war…the NIOBE joined the (North Atlantic) Squadron…in which she has been doing duty ever since.”

 “The Rainbow was ready for immediate service---She was dispatched south from Esquimalt to guard the trade routes…”

(Photos of sailors boarding a ship).

“(Our) two submarines…have been actively employed in the defence of the (west) coast…”

“A number of vessels are employed on patrol duty on different parts of the coast-including the Gulf of St. Lawrence.”

1939-1945 2nd World War

PM William Lyon Mackenzie King (Lib), 24 May, 1940

 “Told in confidence tonight…three destroyers have now left for the scene of war in Europe…to take the Canadian Navy into action in defence of the British Isles… We owe to her such freedom as we have. It is right we should strike with her the last blow for the preservation of freedom.”

(Video montage of sailors posing and at work as well as a ship sailing and firing its cannons)

1950-1953 Korean War

St Laurent (Radio broadcast), Aug 6th, 1950

“We in Canada took our stand with the United Nations against this communist aggression. Three Canadian destroyers were at once dispatched to far eastern waters and placed under the United Nations command.” ]

(Video montage of a ship sailing)

Brooke Claxton, Min. of National Defence, Aug 31, 1950

“Nearly fifty percent of the personnel of the navy is at sea…The three destroyers are at Korea where they are giving a good account of themselves.”

(Video montage of a ship firing its cannons)

1956 Suez Crisis

Mike Pearson (Lib), Sec. of State for External Affairs, House of Commons, 30 Nov 1956

“On November 6th, 1956, the Prime Minister of Canada announced Canada would offer a self-contained battalion group with HMCS Magnificient as a…mobile base.”

(Video montage of sailors, a cargo ship, ship sailing and airplanes taling off an Aircraft Carrier)

Cyprus crisis, 1964

The united nations object is to prevent war spreading beyond the Cyprus shores. The Canadian aircraft carrier Bonaventure and her destroyer escort lay at Famagusta, disenbarking some of the dominion’s contribution. (inaudible) strength would be in numbers, but in the presence of the United Nations. Before the peacekeeping operations, the UN sends a multi-nation force to take up the burden formerly borne by the British. If anything can now ease the anemosity between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, it will be the presence of the United Nations.

(Video montage of the aircraft carrier Bonaventure, sailors and equipmend being unloaded from a ship, a ship sailing to sea, a helicopter taking off from an aircraft carrier, ).

Operation Snowgoose

(Video montage of numerous ships, including a supply ship, an aircraft carrier and destroyers).

PM Mike Pearson, 12 March 1964

“So far as the Canadian government is concerned…we will be participating in a peace keeping force for Cyprus…”

First Gulf war

(Video montage of sailors aboard a ship as well as numerous ships sailing out to sea).

“Canada is sending warships to the Persian Gulf. They will be joining the military force being put together in the region by the Americans, to stop Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. The decision to sail was made in Ottawa after a meeting of NATO allies in Brussels. Official word of Canada’s military involvement in the Gulf came from the Prime Minister this afternoon.

PM Brian Mulroney, 10 Aug 1990

“We are a member of military alliances. We stand for some fundamental values and principles and one of them is resistance to aggression of innocent states members of the United Nations, and friends and allies of Canada.”


Within the week, the destroyers Athabascan and Terra Nova and the supply ship Protecteur along with 800 personnel will leave Halifax and be on their way to the Gulf.

(Video montage of ships alongside, then sailing out to sea).

Vice-Admiral Charles Thomas

“They will be modified and adapted and added to…I am satisfied that they will be able to do the range of jobs they are liable to be asked to do…”

The Prime Minister says parliament will get a chance to deal with this, but only after the ships and their crews are already on active service in the Gulf.    

September 11, 2001, 9/11 attacks

Video montage of the Twin Towers burning and crashing after the 9/11 attacks).

Vice-Admiral Ron Buck, the head of the Canadian Navy, issues orders immediately to assemble a naval task group.

Operation APOLLO

Sunday, October 7th, 2001

PM Jean Chretien announces:

“Canada will join the fight”.

(Video montage of Jean Chretien and George Bush in Washington).

Prime Minister Jean Chretien meets with President George W. Bush in Washington on Thanksgiving week-end. Only then are Canadian Forces committed to the fight.

(Jean Chretien) “This problem of terrorism is a problem that concerns all the nations of the world and we are working together to build a coalition that will defeat…”

(Video montage of Jean Chretien addressing the House of Commons).

“J’ai autorisé l’opération Apollo, le plus vaste déploiement de militaires canadiens depuis la guerre de Corée et plus de 2,000 hommes et femmes vont y prendre part. Des taches vitales ont étées assignées à nos navires. »

« I have authorized the execution of operation Apollo, the largest deployment of Canadian armed forces since the Korean war, involving over 2,000 men and women. Our naval ships…have been assigned vital tasks.”

(Video montage of ships sailing out to sea.)

Compared to a single ship, a task group can accomplish much more, because of the combined complimentary capabilities of the ships that comprise it. Only a few navies can put a credible task group to sea, maybe only half a dozen in the world, that’s why the navy gets the first call to deploy in times of crisis. Our task groups are known commodities amongst allies and coalition forces, and we are trusted to get the job done.

Hurricane Katrina, Aug 29, 2005

Operation Unison

2 September, 2005

PM Paul Martin          

“We as a country are very grateful to each and every one of you onboard the Athabaskan and onboard the other three vessels for what you are about to take on.”

(Video montage of Paul Martin on board a ship, shaking sailors’ hands, affected civilians as well as an aerial view of the affected area.)

Haiti earthquake, 12 January 2010.

Operation Hestia

(Video montage of affected areas in Haiti.)

PM Steven Harper, House of Commons, 11 March 2010

(Video montage of Stephen Harper addressing the House of Commons, relief workers loading supplies on boars a ship, the ship sailing out to sea and civilians receiving supplies.)

“Ships of the Atlantic fleet were immediately ordered to Haiti from Halifax, loaded with relief supplies. By the time the mission peaked, in addition to the D.A.R.T. and Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships ATHABASKAN and HALIFAX, over 2,000 Canadian soldiers, sailors and air personnel were in-theatre bringing real assistance and hope.”

(Video montage of numerous ships sailing, planes, Submarines and CAF personnel in action.)

In times of crisis we look to our Navy.

Ready through our yesterdays


Ready in times to come  

Royal Canadian Navy

An RCN Broadcast Unit Production

Putting the A-V in Navy

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