The following statement was delivered by the Honourable Robert Stanbury to the House of Commons, announcing the adoption of the Federal Identity Program.

October 23, 1970

Mr. Speaker,

I wish to announce the adoption of a federal identity program for all operations of the federal government and administration.

The main purpose of this program is to provide a coordinated and readily recognizable means of identifying federal activities. We believe that the interests of Canadian confederation are served when the people of Canada understand the realms of responsibility of the governments which serve them, and when they are able to identify the source of government services available to them. For this reason, it seems desirable to have a simple system of distinguishing designs, familiar to all Canadians, to identify federal activities. The program which we are adopting does not supplant any existing emblem of Canada. There has never been an emblem which represents the Canadian government as an entity within the Canadian nation. This program is intended to fill that need.

The design consists of two devices from the flag; a red bar with a red maple leaf on a white square to its right, followed on the right by the bilingual identification in black of the Canadian government, the department, agency or other unit or function of the federal government. The bar and leaf may, on occasion, be rendered in black when use of colour is not practical.

Members may be aware that, in the absence of an identification system designed for all federal activities, departments have increasingly adopted their own designs so that, at the moment, there are more than two dozen different identifying designs in use by federal departments, to say nothing of boards and agencies. Many of them contain no element suggesting a relationship with the government of Canada. The new federal identity program will replace this multiplicity of designs in everyday use.

The coat of arms and the flag, or course, will continue to be used and honoured as emblems of Canada, the nation. Indeed, we believe that the adoption of a distinct design for identifying federal government activities will enhance the prestige and dignity of those symbols representing the nation as a whole.

The new program will be implemented gradually, starting on a limited basis immediately. During the next three months, a careful evaluation will be made of its application to stationery, signs, advertising, etc. General introduction will commence early in the new year and continue until the end of 1973, as existing stationery stocks are exhausted and signs or vehicles need repainting or replacement.

When the new design has come into full use, Canadians will be able to identify more readily the activities of their federal government and its role in our nation. In this respect the program should be a significant means of strengthening Canadian confederation itself.


A physical copy of this document is part of the federal identity archive.