Bad Priorities: Amid Huge Recruitment Problems, Royal Canadian Navy Slams People Who Oppose Getting Rid Of “Seaman” Term

Maybe people aren’t signing up because the Navy is horribly underfunded and Canadians have seen how poorly Veterans are treated.

The Royal Canadian Navy has a serious recruitment problem.

The Navy is said to be short at least 850 sailors, and that doesn’t even begin to go into the fact that the Navy is short of quality ships.

For a country with such a large amount of coastline to patrol and defend – and an important role to play along with our allies in countering China’s massive naval buildup, you would think that the leaders of the RCN would be focused on things like advocating for big funding increases, treating Veterans better to show people they will be taken care of after service, and boosting recruitment through effective advertising campaigns.


Instead, they are doubling-down on political correctness, and seeking to eliminate the title of ‘seaman.’

And now, Rear-Admiral Chris Sutherland is spending time slamming those who disagree with that decision.

Here’s what he posted on Facebook:

“Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy here. I have been made aware of the discourse occurring on on-line forums since we adopted our rank-change initiative, and I apologize for not chiming in earlier but frankly I needed a minute to come to terms with some of the comments that have been posted.

First off, I would like to say that in my 33 years of service, I have had the privilege to work alongside the most incredible cohort of talented and professional sailors, who represent the diverse backgrounds that our great country is made of. I am proud to serve alongside the many different women, men, trans and non-binary members who bravely don the RCN uniform in order to serve our country and defend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This is why I strongly support our Rank Change Initiative, as I believe it is long overdue that ALL Royal Canadian Navy processes and policies, including our Ranks, reflect, honour and recognize the service and sacrifice made by ALL of our SAILORS. I would like to thank those of you who have provided constructive feedback and respectful dialogue on this issue, as these kinds of consultations are critical to designing an RCN that is fit for the sailors of the future.

To those of you who have made hateful, misogynistic and racist comments, I am shocked that you think that your comments would be acceptable, and that you are not able to recognize that those you are disparaging are the very people dedicating their lives to afford you the freedom to comment. These comments serve as a reminder of our need to call out cowardly attacks such as these, and remind us also that we should take every opportunity to show support for minority and marginalized groups.

To those of you currently serving with these beliefs, I would like to emphatically state you have no place in our Navy. If you cannot live by or support the values of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, then you cannot defend them. Should any serving Royal Canadian Navy Sailors have concerns or questions about this initiative and why this is considered a priority for our organization (and would like to engage in constructive discussion on the topic), please contact me directly.

Yours Aye,

Rear-Admiral Chris Sutherland”


It’s quite odd that – given serious recruiting problems – Sutherland is talking about removing even more people from the Royal Canadian Navy.

As I said on Twitter, it’s absurd to believe the name ‘seaman’ has anything to do with recruiting problems:

“Does anyone actually believe there are people out there who want to serve in the Royal Canadian Navy but have decided not to because they might have the title “seaman”? What a total clown show.”

“Canada totally underfunds our national defence (including our Navy), and Veterans are treated horribly. That’s why people don’t sign up. Yet, instead of fixing those real problems, the clowns at the top have decided that getting rid of ‘seaman’ will fix recruiting problems.”

The fact is, the Royal Canadian Navy is about protecting our nation from threats, and having the power to do so with force (even as we hope that won’t be necessary). To see the Navy so focused on political correctness, rather than dealing with real problems is very disturbing, and doesn’t bode well for the defence of our nation.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube


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