Commander RCN issues Naval Order on Hateful Conduct

Navy News / October 16, 2020

Shipmates, respect for the dignity and worth of each individual and the equality of all people are profound principles that are critical requirements for the operational effectiveness of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence. These principles are enshrined in Canadian Law and are a fundamental part of what constitutes our modern Canadian society.

With today’s release of our Naval Order on Hateful Conduct, our intent, in lock-step with the CAF, our fellow services, and DND’s civilian leadership, is to drive racism, discrimination and hateful conduct from our ranks and ensure that everyone on our team, civilian and military, has the opportunity to reach their full potential in a diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment.

This order forms part of a broader and continuing effort across the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence to deter and address hateful conduct, as we recognize that our efforts need to be persistent and enduring.

We are dedicated to being a modern and forward-looking organization where all people are welcomed, feel safe in their workplace, and are judged solely on their competence and contribution to Canada’s defence goals. Discrimination, racism and hateful conduct are contrary to Canadian military ethos, and the RCN will not tolerate it in any form. Hateful conduct erodes cohesion and esprit de corps, a necessity for our Navy, and diminishes our authority as a force for good at home and abroad.

Through deck-plate leadership, I expect everyone in our institution to fully hoist this aboard. We must listen; we must learn; and we must act.

We need to listen to those who have faced discrimination, and provide them with the support and resources they need. We need to understand the problem of racism, discrimination and misogyny within our ranks, and learn how to combat it. And we all need to be ready to act - to show leadership, demonstrate what right looks like and step-in if we see hateful conduct being committed, whether it be blatantly obvious or something seemingly small.    

All members of the RCN are to follow the directions laid out in this order, as we work together to be better and to eliminate discrimination, racism and hateful conduct from our ranks.


Vice-Admiral Art McDonald
Commander Royal Canadian Navy