Captain Aralt Mac Glolla Chainnigh (Gaelic version of Harold Kenny) has been a soldier in the Canadian armed forces since 1975. He is currently an associate professor of physics at Royal Military College, Kingston, and an officer of the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry.
During his entire military career the Captain has objected to toasting the Queen at regimental dinners, saluting the Union Jack or singing God Save the Queen. The Captain argues that Canada, as a sovereign nation, cannot be at the same time beholden to a foreign queen. “It’ a logical impossibility.”
The Captain goes on. “I recognize loyalty to the people of Canada alone. I could drink a toast to Elizabeth — if I knew her. I could drink a toast to her as head of state of the United Kingdom … But I cannot in good faith toast her as the Queen of Canada.”
The Captain presented his case to the Federal Court and this week the judge turned him down flat saying an exception for the Captain, then others, would lead to chaos. “Whether Captain Mac Giolla Chainnigh likes it or not, the fact is the Queen is his Commander-in-Chief and Canada’s Head of State.”
The Captain says he cannot afford to appeal the case but he is hoping some republican groups in Canada will pick up his cause.
Do you think the Captain has a case?
Or should he be compelled to toast the Queen at military functions?