Day: January 1, 2010


Launching The Service

One hundred years ago, on Jan. 12, 1910, the government of Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier introduced the Naval Service Bill. After third and final reading on May 4, the bill received royal assent and Laurier, who had been prime minister since 1896, achieved one of his fondest dreams: the establishment of a Canadian navy. Laurier’s plan called for a fleet of five cruisers and six torpedo-boat destroyers. This was a tidy little squadron capable of effective patrolling off Canada’s coasts, and big enough to establish a Canadian service, with a shipyard to build and maintain the fleet, operational bases, recruitment depots, training schools and a naval college. A century after its founding, Laurier would be very pleased indeed with the ‘tidy little fleet’—and its extensive infrastructur...

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