I have a friend who’s a great supporter of the British monarchy acting as our head of state here in Canada. I disagree, and thought I’d share a bit of the dialogue between us. But just to be clear, I don’t suggest banishing the monarchy. Let those who love that kind of pomp and circumstance enjoy it. But what I do say – and I’m now supported by 65 per cent of Canadians – is that our ties to the monarchy should be cut.
My pal says…
I think Charles, is intelligent, sensitive and creative in responsive to change as seen in the coronation....and many other things.
And my reply…
While you obviously think King Charley’s a swell fellow, I – and many others – cannot forget his churlish performance against his poor wife (ultimately contributing to Diana’s untimely death), all the while ignoring his two sons who so needed his support and guidance after their mother’s public passing, while he galivanted around with Camilla Parker Bowles. He’s a fop who talks to flowers and enjoys his time with Queen Cami, “the Rottweiler". (I actually thought very well of the late Queen Elizabeth, but find it hard to say “Queen Camilla” as though she’s an equal in that role.) Lovely. Let him carry on. Just don’t call him my head of state.
And, beyond the constitutional necessities, the monarchy engages people's normally pretty boring lives and adds a terrific spark and dimension in those boring lives!
To which I say…
Surely that’s what we have Spongebob Squarepants for (heh, heh).
...a really a little cost given other so much other govt waste.
One of the reasons only 30 per cent of Canadians feel any kind of connection to the Queen or to the Governor General is that over the last 10 years, the per capita bill for supporting the monarchist framework – including expenses incurred by the royal clan on Canadian soil, as well as the hundreds of millions of dollars devoted to running the offices of the Governor General and our 10 provincial lieutenant-governors – has more than doubled. For instance, are you aware that the Ontario lieutenant-governor employs nine staff members? And that the B.C. office shells out piles of cash each year to run a 102-room official residence for its lieutenant-governor? And as for the Governor General: she or he has literary awards and cuts ribbons and plants trees and travels to Nunavut and eats seal meat. But what else? The role is no longer relevant nor needed. I sure don’t feel good paying out these heavy sums when we so badly need the money for education and healthcare.
Too easy too be so critical and no suggestion for another important, historic and very engaging
You know, I admit I don’t have the political or mental horsepower to create a replacement system. But lots of other nations have done so: surely we can follow their lead. Like Germany...
And then there’s this…
Tom Freda, national director of Citizens for a Canadian Republic, says of Canada, “I see a country that has been too lazy to take the last step to independence. This is a matter of will, of laziness that we just don’t care enough about our Canadianness to feel that this is important.”
Well, you know what, I do think it’s important. As do a growing number of Canadians. According to data released just 3 days ago (in the midst of coronation glee), only 19 per cent of Canadians would prefer that the country remain a monarchy. That’s down 12 points since a similar poll conducted in September 2022.
We decided long ago that we needed a Canadian flag without a Union Jack on it. That same logic should apply to our head of state.
We don’t need a foreign queen or king. Nor do we need their representatives here. The perception is that Canada is not fully independent: we’re a nation demanding international respect, yet we have a head of state who is not chosen by us, who is selected by birth, who comes from one family only, that family having decided centuries ago to outsource their responsibility as rulers (to a Prime Minister), that lives in various castles, in another country, on another continent, and they only visit here occasionally. What does that say about Canada?
Freda: “It’s the 21st century. If we’re going to be an independent country, we bloody well better act like it.”
OK, I’ll leave the last word on the subject to Paul Heinbecker, former Canadian Ambassador to the UN:
"The monarchy hurts Canada’s standing in the world. It’s time to let go.