Curtis: Does the ‘royal’ rebranding of the Canadian Forces have a wider meaning?

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22 August, 2011
By: John Curtis
Adjunct Professor at Queen's University and Chair of Statistics Canada's Advisory Committee on International Trade Statistics

No, the rebranding is basically a minor, perhaps slightly backward step. It will please primarily those anglophone males who are over 65, baby-boomers about to turn 65, and veterans, generally in the same age group. All these will revel in the nostalgia, sentimentality, and historical play-back that the name restoration brings to bear. As long as the name issue remains subdued, there will be no serious consequences.

On the other hand, the name change, particularly if part of a wider initiative, could be damaging in at least two ways. It will widen the disassociation already felt in Quebec (crime, militarization of foreign policy, lack of profound environmental policies, focus on the family, etc.) that their values are not shared in the rest-of-Canada—an almost complete “distinct society” although not constitutionally; secondly, and less emphatically given the recent Royal Wedding, it will widen the generational gap—everything that governments and those in authority do are basically irrelevant to what interests and concerns the young with all the consequences that this widening gap entails.

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