Thank you, Mr. Chairman and committee members.
My name is Lieutenant-Colonel Marcel Beaudry and I work at the Canadian Forces Directorate of History and Heritage. I'm joined here today by Major Guy Turpin and Chief Warrant Officer Alain Grenier, both from the Dress and Ceremonial section.
The directorate of history and heritage is maintained to preserve and communicate Canada's military history and to foster pride in a Canadian military heritage. One active way of projecting this takes place when we conduct or participate in events such as military burials, commemorative ceremonies, or military ceremonies. Our sailors, soldiers, airmen, and airwomen are very cognizant and proud of the fact that we are highly visible and in the public eye, especially since we are in uniform at the time we participate in these activities.
Our main references for planning these events are: Canadian Forces Publication 200—The Heritage Structure of the Canadian Forces; Canada Forces Publication 201—Canadian Forces Manual of Drill and Ceremonial; and Canadian Forces Publication 265—Canadian Forces Dress Instructions.
These are updated on a regular basis, and we adjust to recommended changes where necessary. These publications are not available on the Internet, but all our regular partners possess hard copies so they can do their own research. We now have a plan for making these publications available shortly on the Internet.
We also have an outstanding team of historians in our arsenal and a section devoted to heritage that assists us in our research and planning. If they do not have the answer at their fingertips, they can access the in-house archives or conduct research at Library and Archives Canada.
Regarding commemorative ceremonies here in Canada and abroad, our main partner is Veterans Affairs Canada. We work very closely together and provide ceremonial advice and support. As an example, we recently provided support for the 95th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge in France, where we deployed a Canadian Forces contingent of approximately 100 personnel.
During all of these ceremonies, our Canadian Forces personnel across Canada provide direct support in the various regions.
For royal tours, funeral honours, state visits and ceremonies involving the national flag, our principal partner is Heritage Canada. We consult each other on a regular basis and share our knowledge and expertise. Our Canadian Forces publications are highly specific in identifying which dignitary is entitled to which honour, which makes things easier for the event planners.
We also work with the Royal Canadian Legion in planning the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies, including the main event here in Ottawa at the Canadian War Memorial.
Clearly, where there is established national protocol governed by, in most instances, the Department of Canadian Heritage, our job is to ensure that the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces adhere to that protocol. Because we work overseas at times, especially with our partners in Veterans Affairs, we need as well to understand the protocols of other nations so that we can see to a harmonious marriage, if you will, of sometimes dissimilar practices.
Internally, within the Canadian Forces, we have our own protocols, which we usually describe as customs, traditions, and heritage, most of which are governed by our own internal regulations and orders, and at times we need to be careful to ensure that well-intentioned interventions by those outside the Canadian Forces do not conflict with time-honoured ways of doing this.
At this point, rather than speak to a myriad of disparate issues in a prepared talk, perhaps it is better to say that we are happy to answer any questions you may have.