Wednesday, 23 December 2009
In 2010, we will welcome home Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, welcome a new Governor General, and celebrate the League's 40th anniversary.
Thank-you for your continued support. All the best.
Queen Elizabeth II's first Christmas message was delivered in 1952. Sitting in the same chair and using the same desk as her father and grandfather had previously done, she began with, "Each Christmas, at this time, my beloved father broadcast a message to his people in all parts of the world. Today I am doing this to you, who are now my people."
The following year, The Queen broadcast her Christmas message from New Zealand. 1957 marked the first televised Royal Christmas Message.
The advent of new media in 21st century means that The Queen's Christmas message is not only broadcast on television and radio, but is also available for podcast download and shown on YouTube.
Over the years, the The Queen's Christmas messages have chronicled both the life of the Commonwealth and of the Crown. The broadcast is one of the rare occasions when The Queen does not speak on government advice. Instead, The Queen gives her own views on events and developments which are of concern both to Her Majesty and the public.
Monday, 21 December 2009
Mr. Hulls announced that beginning next year criminal proceedings in Victorian courts will be brought in the name of the "Director of Public Prosecutions" instead of The Queen. His rationale? Modernization, of course. Oh, and apparently using the word "Queen" makes the court process all too "mystifying," according to Law Institute of Victoria. I am sure people will now be much more at ease knowing they're up against the Director of Public Prosecutions. Good grief.
Creeping republicanism is a spiteful game played by republicans who deep down realise that they simply cannot achieve their ultimate goal of turning their country into a republic. So, they resort to chipping away at references and visual images associated with the monarchy little by little, piece by piece, with the hope that one day people will simply forget about it and suddenly agree to abolish it.
Like Australia, we have experienced plenty of creeping republicanism here in Canada. Whether, it is removing The Queen from the oath taken by civil servants. Taking down The Queen's portrait. Or erasing The Queen's name from diplomatic Letters of Credence. Unfortunately, creeping republicanism does rear its ugly head every now and then.
The good news is that no act of creeping republicanism does a darn thing to alter the fact that we are a constitutional monarchy. It's more frustrating to monarchists than damaging. But, monarchists also have the ability to fight back. How best to fight back? Creeping monarchism.
Long ago, the Monarchist League of Canada shifted from being a reactionary organization that would sit back and wait for the next opportunity to defend the Crown to being a proactive organization that would go on the attack to promote the Crown.
The positive results are starting to appear. Creeping monarchism can reverse the trend of creeping republicanism one step at a time. Portraits of The Queen have been restored at many post offices, thanks to our members. References to the Crown and The Queen in particular are plentiful in the federal government's new citizenship guide book. Politicians are even making monarchical references in their speeches again.
So, Rob Hulls can go about his merry way and play the creeping republicanism game. But, no matter how hard he tries, no matter what he does, he knows deep down that he simply cannot win. He cannot turn his country, Australia, into a republic. For in 2010, despite his removing The Queen from court proceedings, Australia - like Canada - will still be a constitutional monarchy.
Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
My initial reaction was why in the world would the Canadian Secular Alliance be invited to participate as issues of church and state are irrelevant in Canada vis a vis the Crown. And, since the host of the debate, Centre for Inquiry, also promotes secularism it appeared as though they wanted to both host and participate in the debate. Ultimately, I suspected that the CFI/CSA might be just another republican group, which would give the republican side a clear advantage.
Then, my investigative nature kicked in, the great amateur sleuth that I am. I came across this blog posting by Justin Trottier, CFI's executive director...and low and behold the President of the Canadian Secular Alliance, too. He was also the guy who was to be the neutral moderator of the debate. The icing on the cake was his post on the Citizens for a Canadian Republic's Facebook group:
I'm a supporter of your organization and the Executive Director of the pro-secular Centre for Inquiry. I just posted a blog entry in support of this issue to our international blog...
November at 16:36
Not surprisingly, I respectfully declined to take part.
This lead to Justin Trottier twittering the following:
Monarchist League refuses to debate validity of monachy @ CFI. When you don't have a point in your favour you'd avoid informed debates
Not quite, Mr. Trottier. I am all for debate, especially "informed" ones. The same old tired arguments put forth by republicans can be refuted - most quite easily as matter of fact. But, where's the objectivity and fairness in a debate organised by republicans, moderated by a republican who publicly supports one of the republican participants and is president of the other republican participant?
Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
News of Prince William's increasing official royal duties created quite the frenzy this week, often borderlining on downright insane. Somehow, visits to New Zealand and Australia suddenly morphed into some Shakespearean tragedy complete with sinister plots to somehow oust the Prince of Wales.
Friday, 11 December 2009
The Statute of Westminster also sets the basis for the continued relationship between the Commonwealth Realms and the Crown. This is why, for instance, each country where The Queen is head of state must agree on changes to rules of succession.
As part of Canada's constitutional law, the Statute of Westminster is one of the most important milestones on our road to independence - something we Canadians achieved through a process of evolution rather than revolution.
Canada's first major step towards true independence came with Confederation in 1867. Our final step was the repatriation of the constitution in 1982.
It is truly quite remarkable that our country has been able to mature from colony to country with such ease - and without a single drop of blood lost in some revolutionary war. This is especially true when you contrast our road to independence to that of our republican neighbour to the south.
That Canada chose evolution and not revolution is most certainly a result of Canadians' loyalty to the Crown. From the time of the early colonial settlements to the founding of a new country to the day we severed the constitutional link to the British Parliament, Canada has steadfastly stood behind the Crown. Under this Crown - now a distinctively Canadian Crown - we continue to demonstrate our independence and have become one of the world's great respected voices.
Incredibly, those who would rather Canada become a republic argue that one of the reasons we should abolish our monarchy is that only then could we be an independent country. Of course, this argument is nothing more than a republican myth. The reality is that Canada is a fully independent country and has been for years. Any reasonable person would agree.
While we share the same Queen with the U.K. and the other Commonwealth Realms, we also share the English language, common law, Shakespeare, and other cultural traditions. Do these make us less independent? Of course not.
Abolishing the monarchy is not going to make us any more independent then what we already are. Period.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Mr. Roach was born in Trinidad and Tobago and is a permanent resident in Canada, refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance to The Queen required for citizenship. This, despite having sworn allegiance to The Queen twice in the past.
Mr. Roach argued that the Oath violates the Charter's freedom of conscience provision and ridiculously compares the Crown to Nazis saying, "I feel that we [blacks] were colonized as a people by the British throne, and we were enslaved as a people by the British throne and, to me, taking an oath to the monarch of Great Britain, without any disrespect to the Queen herself as a person, is like asking a Holocaust survivor to take an oath to a descendant of Hitler."
The court's decision hopefully puts an end to this silly time and money wasting adventure. Case closed!
* * *
The Governor General is not a constitutional judge. Former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm is apparently "stunned" that Her Excellency won't wade into the contentious harmonized sales tax debate. Mr. Vander Zalm had written to Mme Jean asking her to determine the legality of the proposed tax. She rightfully referred him back to the Government of British Columbia.
Of course, all Canadians are welcome to write the Governor General to express their views on a particular issue. And, the Governor General has every right to advise, to be consulted, and to warn, sharing her concerns with her government.
Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.
Monday, 7 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
A quick background. The Act of Settlement includes provisions that bar Roman Catholics from inheriting the throne and prevent the Sovereign from marrying a Catholic. It was passed by the Parliament of England in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution, which saw King James II of England (a Catholic) overthrown in favour of his son-in-law William of Orange (a Protestant). William reigned jointly with his wife Mary as William III and Mary II. To ensure a Protestant line of succession (and to prevent any of possible claims by the deposed James II), the Act of Settlement was thus passed.
Flash forward to the 21st century, and the same provisions that bar Catholics from sitting on the throne and prevent Sovereigns from marrying a Catholic are still in effect. A leftover that is controversial at best and discriminatory at worst from a bygone era.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is leading a charge to update the Act of Settlement. The Sovereign and heirs to the throne would no longer be forbidden to marry a Catholic or convert to Catholicism themselves. Also, the rule of primogeniture where men take precedence over women would also be scrapped.
The League supports these changes for a number of reasons.
First, we recognise the discriminatory nature of the provisions that exclude Catholics from becoming King or Queen of Canada. And, we recognise the discriminatory nature of favouring men over women.
Second, removing the provisions that exclude Catholics and favour men effectively eliminate two arguments republicans consistently make against the Crown.
Third, perhaps the most important from a Canadian monarchist perspective, amending the Act of Settlement provides solid proof that the Canadian Crown is completely separate and independent vis-à-vis the British Crown (and the Crowns of the other Realms where the Queen is head of state). After all, without Canada's approval, these changes can't happen. Another republican argument eliminated!
Of course, there are plenty of details that would need to be addressed. But, I believe that making these changes can only increase support for the Crown here in Canada and abroad.
Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.
Friday, 27 November 2009
NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) thinks that's too much. In fact, according to Mr. Martin, "This is as good an argument as I have ever heard for a republic of Canada." Well, sir, the arguments you have heard thus far must be pretty bad.
The reality is that $2.6 million is barely a drop in the bucket for a federal government budget of $260 billion. Frankly, it's a heck of a bargain considering the thousands of lives that were touched by the Royal Couple's presence, the exposure communities (such as Cupids, NL) received (no amount of advertising can buy the publicity a Royal Visit can get you), and the economic activity the visit helped generate (how many people bought a coffee or hot chocolate to stay warm or grabbed a bite to eat after the royal event?).
Plus, surely Mr. Martin doesn't need to be reminded that we monarchists are taxpayers, too? Psst. We don't mind our share of taxes going towards the Royal Visit.
It amazes me that opponents of the Canadian Crown continue to argue cost as a reason to abolish the monarchy. They conveniently never take issue with the cost of hosting the President of the United States or other heads of state, or for that matter even hosting foreign Royals such as the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Nope, they only open their mouths when it comes to hosting members of our own Royal Family.
Thankfully, Canadians are far too intelligent to be suckered into manipulative games played by republicans such as Pat Martin. Yes, there may be some good arguments against the monarchy. But, cost is certainly not one of them.
Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Friday, 20 November 2009
I've always had mixed feelings on how The Queen's representative should be selected. Removing any perception of political patronage is certainly welcome. But, careful attention must be paid to ensure that changing the selection process doesn't politicalize the office or affect The Queen's right to appoint HER representative.
While I am happy that the Globe is now in the monarchist camp, I admit that I am not a fan of the their proposal to establish some sort of advisory board to determine who will represent the Crown. For me, it puts the selection process in the hands of the elite and weakens both the Prime Minister's prerogative and The Queen's authority - two vital features of our constitutional monarchy.
Also, I don't know if patronage is as much a problem with vice-regal appointments as some may make it out to be. Whether or not you approve of Adrienne Clarkson or Michaëlle Jean, I think you'd be hard pressed to label either of the last two vice-regals patronage appointments.
But, winds of change do appear to be in the air. And, even monarchists are clamouring for change.
So, here's an open invitation for all monarchists. Let's brainstorm together. How should the Governor General be selected?
I welcome your input. Please Email your suggestions and ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,
Friday, 13 November 2009
* * *
Hats off to Jason Kenney. The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism yesterday launched a new study guide for new Canadians. Called "Discover Canada", the book prominently explains the role of the Crown.
It is reassuring to know that new Canadians will learn that The Queen is our head of state, that the Governor General and Lieutenant Governors are her representatives, and that the monarchy is such an important element of government and everyday life in modern day Canada.
* * *
Republicans have a real gift for attracting...monarchists! Every time they talk or write, the League is sure to recruit another member to its fold. Case in point is this article in today's Montreal Gazette. A good example of a republican spewing out misinformation and ignorance. Ironically, by trying to belittle the Monarchist League the writer gives us free publicity and drives people to our cause.
It reminds me of how I first became a member of the League. One evening in the late 90s, I read a piece about John Manley's boorish desire to abolish the monarchy. The former cabinet minister never missed an opportunity to push his republican agenda. Anyway, the article I read that evening had also mentioned the League. Even though I was a staunch monarchist, admittedly I hadn't heard of the Monarchist League of Canada.
That night I visited the League's Website and - ta-da - joined the cause. I often get a good chuckle knowing that John Manley, one of the loudest anti-monarchist voices at the time, was almost single-handedly responsible for recruiting the future Dominion Chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada.
So, let me thank the John Manleys, Jeffrey Simpsons, Allan Fotheringhams, Tom Fredas, Brian Tobins, Margaret Wentes, and Barbara Yaffes of the world now. These last couple of weeks, you have sent our League many new members and maybe - just maybe - you may have just recruited another future Dominion Chairman.
Friday, 6 November 2009
Anyone else growing tired of CBC's less-than-stellar coverage of the Royal Homecoming? Really, I'd expect better from our national public broadcaster. Constantly focusing on pointless polls (of which can be easily countered by contradicting polls, I might add) suggesting Canadians are not interested (did they not see the crowds yesterday at Dundurn Castle in Hamilton or at Varsity Stadium in Toronto?), constantly bringing out so-called "experts" predicting the end of the monarchy. My favourite was a British photographer..how on Earth is he an expert? I guess, they are setting the mood for this doozie.
As our Australian friends are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the defeat of the republic referendum, a visit to that Realm by Prince William has been announced. His presence will surely be a big boost to monarchist forces Down Under. The visit to Australia was added to Prince William's first official visit to New Zealand.
In closing, I leave you with my favourite moment of the royal visit thus far. Yesterday, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Dundurn Castle in Hamilton. An energetic crowd of 3000+ gathered to welcome them. The crowd erupted when the Royal Couple stepped onto the balcony to greet and wave to the crowd below.
Until next time,
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Friday, 30 October 2009
The Monarchist League of Canada is pleased to announce that this will be the first "twittered" royal visit. Yes, members and friends - as well as the general public, no doubt - will use Twitter to post news items, provide first hand accounts, and offer interesting commentary on the Royal Homecoming.
All you need to participate is a Twitter account. You can follow the MLC at twitter.com/monarchist. If you want to post something simply include the #royalvisit09 hashmark tag in your post. For those of you who aren't on Twitter, you can still follow the action on our Website. A live Twitter feed will run on our homepage.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Our own Nathan Tidridge, the League's Education Coordinator and himself a teacher in Canadian Civics, offers the following rebuke:
It was Adrienne Clarkson who wrote that, concerning Canada’s democratic traditions, “there is an abysmal lack of knowledge about the system.” These words echoed in my mind as I read the letter written by the president of The Historica-Dominion Institute, Andrew Cohen.
As a teacher of Canadian Civics I find myself in complete agreement with our former Governor General: we do not understand how we are governed in this country. Mr. Cohen’s suggestion to simply declare the governor general as Head of State once The Queen of Canada dies displays a lack of knowledge of our parliamentary democracy. If we are going to have the “adult conversation” Mr. Cohen suggests about the Crown in Canada we need to educate ourselves about what eminent political scientist David E. Smith describes in his book, The Invisible Crown: The First Principal of Canadian Government, as the “. . .organizing force behind the executive, legislative, administration, and judiciary on both the federal and provincial spheres of government.”
The fact that only 24 percent of the population know that The Queen is the source of our political and legal authority is deplorable – it speaks to the poor treatment our political institutions have received over the years. Mr. Cohen contends that the end of the Canadian monarchy is simply “a manifestation of maturity.” Cohan forgets that such events as the patriation of the Constitution in 1982 entrenched the Crown in Canada, strengthening its position at the centre of our democracy. A superficial survey of history denies Canadians the depth and richness that centuries of political evolution have given us.
True, Australia did explore the possibility of becoming a republic in 1999. However, this plan was sidelined over the issue of legitimacy and authority of an Australian president. Put simply, the governor general receives their authority from The Queen, and when the monarch is removed there is nothing left to legitimize the existence of the Queen’s Representative. Simply renaming the “governor general” as “president” creates a host of new problems: Who elects the president? If the president is given a mandate by an electorate what is their relationship with the prime minister (the Head of Government)? How do we ensure that a politicized office represents all Canadians? What institution will protect Canadians against an abuse of power?
There are other realities to contend with as well: First Nations’ treaties are with The Crown, not the government of the day; the Crown provides the foundation for Confederation and inter-provincial /federal relations; the Crown provides a unifying force in a country that can be easily divided.
I welcome a national debate. However, Canadians need to educate themselves about what they could potentially loose. The Crown has roots that run deep in this country – it is a defining institution in our political and cultural make-up. By simply labeling Elizabeth II as the “Queen of England” (a title that has not existed since 1603 with the death of Elizabeth I) and a relic is an immature argument. Such a statement denies centuries of cultivation by Canadians of their constitutional monarchy. Let’s get educated about the subject and have a serious debate.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
The special evening was hosted by Ontario's current Lieutenant Governor, David Onley, at his Queen's Park suite.
My first memory of Linc (as he is commonly known) is from my childhood when I was in Cub Scouts. Every year, there was a Scout parade in downtown Hamilton. We took this parade very seriously, and I can still recall how nervous we got when we marched past the Honourable Lincoln Alexander, who'd always offer us a vice-regal wave upon passing.
A Linc In Time is a "surprising, funny, often heartbreaking but always inspiring account of his childhood, loves of his life, successes and tragedies are all shared by the Honourable Alexander himself, in his own words." If you get a chance to watch this documentary, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Linc holds a special place in the hearts of Hamiltonians. He is our hero and our success story. For me, Lincoln Alexander, like The Queen he so proudly represented, is the epitome of service, honour, and dedication.
Until next time,
Monday, 19 October 2009
In his latest attack on the Crown, Mr. White makes two references to "diminishing monarchist forces." Diminishing monarchist forces, eh, Mr. White? Are these the same diminishing forces that appeared in headlines across the country? The same ones that played a key role in highlighting the head-of-stateism-by-stealth campaign at Rideau Hall, that ultimately lead to a statement by the Prime Minister of Canada and Rideau Hall's correcting their Website?
Are these the same diminishing forces that will be called on to provide insight and opinion on the upcoming Royal Homecoming of The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall? The same ones who forced BC Ferries last year to restore The Queen's portraits to its fleet? The same ones who have cemented a monarchist mentality at Canada Post and the Royal Canadian Mint?
Are these the same diminishing forces that every day add new members (especially young Canadians) to its fold? The same ones with a rapidly growing Facebook and Twitter presence?
One interesting aspect I noticed in the wake of the head of state fiasco was the absence of any real discussion about whether Canada should keep or abolish the monarchy. None of the major newspapers called for a republic. Even those less sympathetic to the Crown defended Her Majesty. Indeed, nobody was interested in a republic. The silence was deafening.
Sorry, Mr. White. But, it doesn't look like it's the monarchist forces who are diminishing...
Until next time,
Proud Monarchist Parasite!
Friday, 16 October 2009
I became a Canadian citizen almost 10 years ago and nothing in the long process of citizenship made me prouder than swearing allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II as our Head of State.
This is why when I read that the Governor General called herself the Head of State, I was deeply dismayed and offended. When one of your staffers said she was the "de facto" head, it made me even angrier.
As most new and old Canadians know, the Governor General is the Queen's representative and a representative can never be the actual person being represented. Please make sure that this silly mistake is not going to happen again.
We swear allegiance to the Queen, not the Governor General.
Kwan Ho Leung
My experience is that the vast majority of new Canadians have a solid understanding of and appreciation for Canada's monarchy. Surely, if newcomers to Canada are expected to learn about our constitutional realities, that same expectation must apply to those at Rideau Hall.
Thank-you, Kwan Ho, for sharing with me your letter.
Until next time,
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Out of the woodwork will come the same tired anti-monarchists: the false nationalists who insist the Crown is not Canadian; the anti-British crowd who blame the UK for all of the world's ills including the Toronto Maple Leafs' 42-year-old Stanley Cup drought; the ideologues who cannot reconcile monarchism with democracy (y'know because Canada, UK, Sweden, Japan, Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, etc. aren't democratic), and, of course, the disenchanted Quebec nationalist who detests anything even remotely English.
"As soon as we get rid of the monarchical system and become who we are supposed to be we will be much better of." I'm still trying to figure out who we are actually supposed to be.
The good senator wraps up by saying, "only parasiittttttteessss want to be subjeecctttttt to the foreign queen. Good bye!"
I was left shaking my head, left wondering how interesting the conversation might have been had I managed to actually pick up his call. I would have told him, quite frankly, that I am proud to be a parasite then!
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Monday, 5 October 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
Friday, 17 July 2009
A few months ago it was announced by the Dominion Institute that only 23% of Canadians knew that their Head of State was Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada. As a history teacher, as well as of Canadian government, I was not surprised.
Canada enjoys one of the most stable forms of government that exists on the planet, but its citizens barely understand it beyond a “Wikipedia” standard lacking the depth and respect it deserves. A classic example of this understanding was highlighted during the political events of last December when the Governor General (as representative of our Head of State) prorogued parliament on the recommendation of her prime minister. Newspapers and other media plastered the country with headlines reading “crisis” and “coup” – a complete misunderstanding of how our system operates. In fact, our constitutional monarchy was doing exactly what it was designed to do.
The Prince of Wales will be visiting Canada this fall, followed by The Queen herself in 2010. I can already see the headlines. The recent poll published by the Globe and Mail citing that only 35% of Canadians want to retain the Monarchy will undoubtedly come up. Without proper education and understanding it makes sense that whenever Canadians encounter the Monarchy they do so with confusion.
In Ontario, Civics is a government-mandated course taught to all Grade 10 students. Often times this course will focus on the ideas of global citizenship and community participation (which are very important), while ignoring the mechanics of our government. As a teacher, this makes some sense because Grade 10 students have a difficult time fleshing out our political structure (which can be too abstract for them).
As far as teaching about the role of the Canadian Monarchy, since most (if not all) of our textbooks are produced by private companies, the information presented is blatantly wrong. The Governor General is often referred to as the Canadian Head of State, while the Queen is almost uniformly identified as the British Monarch (even though she has been Queen of Canada – a separate entity politically – since 1953). The Monarchy is always presented as something on the way out to our youth – tied to such things as the old Canadian Red Ensign (a relationship that makes no sense since it was the Queen of Canada who proclaimed our new flag in 1965).
The fact that a former prime minister has been appointed by the Queen of Canada to the highly prestigious Order of Merit brings to light that this institution is still working for us. It must be remembered that the Crown is not designed to promote itself, rather its role is to highlight and honour our country.
Instead of the Prince of Wales’ visit being framed as part of our past, we should be looking at it as an affirmation of our history and political institution as it continues to evolve. As a person, it is interesting to note that The Prince’s views on the environment, rural support and global citizenship are in step with a majority of Canadians.
The Prince of Wales has not visited Canada very often – as heir to the throne he must be invited by the Canadian Government. His visit in the fall represents the future of our country’s political system – a system that is chronically misunderstood by its citizens. Before entertaining the perennial debate on retaining the Canadian Monarchy, we must learn how it works.
This must be a grassroots campaign to understand an institution that is not designed to advocate for itself. In an age of celebrity politicians, The Queen has stood quietly in the background as a source of stability and subtle affirmation of our political institutions and cultural personalities, even in the face of superficial and uneducated attacks. In the end, when looked at in depth, the Crown presents itself as quietly familiar and ultimately Canadian.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
The one thing that jumped out at me, though, was the republican gentleman's suggestion that the Lieutenant Governors are more or less "redundant and obsolete." Wow! This revelation should sound alarm bells to anyone who believes in the Canadian federation.
What republicans are, in effect, saying is that provincial sovereignty means nothing. In Canada, where ultimate authority is vested in The Queen, we have eleven sovereign governments: one federal and ten provincial. Each has its very own representative of the Crown: the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governors.
Abolishing the offices of the Lieutenant Governors would leave the provinces with no counterpart to the Governor General. The provincial governments would become mere subordinates of the federal government. Probably not what Canadians would want for the governments which are so close to them and handle important things like health end education, eh?
The mere thought of abolishing the provincial vice-regals reeks of constitutional vandalism. Of course, no province is ever going to voluntarily give up its sovereignty to Ottawa. But, if the republicans had their way, we would have a President (with no provincial counterpart) and a federal government that could run roughshod over the provinces. Bye, bye federation!
Until next time,
BTW, please vote in the poll on the right hand side of the Maclean's article.
Monday, 13 July 2009
Royal Visits - or Homecomings, as we Monarchists like to call them - are always a reason for celebration. They are a chance for Canadians to again reacquaint themselves with their Sovereign and the monarchy. So, while the Crown is often left to function in the background away from the public eye much of the time, during the days when The Queen is here Canadians' focus is on HER and this wonderful system of government we call constitutional monarchy.
Of course, The Queen's visit will follow on the tails of the visit of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. That's two Royal Homecomings in less than a year apart. Great time to be a Canadian monarchist!
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Friday, 3 July 2009
My letter to the editor was published on the Globe's Website. The condensed response appears here.
Here is the text of my full letter:
Jeffrey Simpson's praise for Her Excellency the Governor General is welcome. True, Michaëlle Jean deserves such praise. She personifies modern-day Canada: bilingual, multicultural, global, hardworking, tolerant, and friendly. And, as he rightly points out she clearly demonstrated her constitutional acumen when it came to the whole issue of Prorogation last Fall.
But, as much as he is spot on when it comes to his assessment of Mme Jean, Mr Simpson loses all credibility with his attack on Prince Charles. Mr Simpson's republican leanings are well known, but to paint such a rosy picture of our Governor General at the expense of the heir to the throne is shameful. His portrayal of Charles as being a "stodgy British prince" is simply a byproduct of his hate-on for all things Royal.
The same characteristics he uses to pump up Mme Jean can just as easily be attributed to Charles, as well: bilingual, multicultural, worldly, modern, etc. The Prince of Wales is (and has been for some time) ahead of the world when it comes to the environment, organic farming, architecture, etc. He has raised millions of dollars for worthwhile charities, many of which he has personally founded, and has been a true leader in helping to reconcile a world of different religions and cultures. As far as I am concerned, Charles very much reflects the ideals of today's Canada...perhaps more than anyone else.
Mr Simpson's peculiar fascination and praise for Canada's Governors General past and present boggles the mind. He says we're lucky to have had them. However, he surely must realise that as representatives of The Queen they are all creatures of the monarchical system of government we have. With no monarchy we would have no Michaëlle Jean. Instead, we would be stuck with a politician as president. How un-Canadian!
Until next time,
Monday, 29 June 2009
Now, Mr. Mair, believe it or not was actually British Columbia's minister responsible for constitutional affairs leading up to the repatriation of the Constitution back in the 80s. How scary is that?
Mr. Rafe's rant about the MLC is full of the typical stereo-types. But, his suggestion that we simply make the Governor General the head of state is jaw-dropping. (And, this guy represented BC in constitutional negotiations? Yikes)
Yes, it is true that the Governor General performs most (not all) of the constitutional duties of the Crown, but it is important to remember that the GG draws her authority from The Queen. She represents The Queen. The Queen appoints her. See the problem, Mr. Rafe? If you get rid of The Queen, from where does the GG draw her authority? Who does she represent? And, how does she become GG? Hmm, back to the drawing board, sir.
In the meantime, I am honoured that we amuse you.
It sure has been a busy weekend in the world of monarchy. It was with great enthusiasm that the League welcomed the news that the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will embark on an extensive tour in Canada this November. As you may know, this visit has been a long time in the works. As the heir to the Canadian throne, it is imperative that Canadians get more acquanited with Charles and Camilla. I believe this tour is crucial to the long-term health of the Crown in this country; I also believe this tour will be a resounding success!
This weekend also brought the announcement that the Governor General will open the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I know that many of you wanted to see Her Majesty The Queen - our head of state - open the Games. Believe me, in an ideal world this would have occurred. But, we don't live in an ideal world, and to be perfectly honest, I would much rather have Her Majesty visit various parts of the country when she does come (later in 2010) when better weather will make the visit that much more enjoyable - for Canadians and for Her Majesty!
The third bit of royal news had the Governor General present a new Queen's Colour to the Canadian Navy. It is always refreshing to see how seriously Her Excellency takes her role as Commander-in-Chief.
Until next time,
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
The first Acadian to serve as vice-regal, Mr. LeBlanc's raised Canadians' awareness of Acadian culture and history - and was seen by many as a symbol for reconciliation between Acadians and the Crown.
Mr. LeBlanc was a very modest man. He often found it difficult to accept some of the ceremonial aspects that came with the vice-regal post. For example, he would ask women to go through the door ahead of him, even though as Governor General the courtesy of "going first" belonged to him. This was the down-to-earth character of Roméo-LeBlanc.
During his time as Governor General, Mr. LeBlanc championed volunteerism, culminating in the creation of the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award. He also took a keen interest in the teaching of Canadian history (he was a former educator himself), and Canada's Aboriginal peoples. In 1996, he issued a Royal Proclamation making National Aboriginal Day an annual observation.
Roméo LeBlanc died at his home in New Brunswick after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease. Mr. LeBlanc is survived by his wife Diana Fowler LeBlanc and their four children.
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
I came across this column in this week's edition of The Georgian, a weekly community newspaper in Newfoundland. It's a well written piece that effectively addresses the "concern" republicans have when it comes to democracy under the Crown and speaks to the unifying factor The Queen plays in a country as diverse as Canada.
"One could say the monarchy is a package deal for Canadians - representing our past, reflecting our present and joining in our future."
In short, it answers the question of how we Canadians would be better off without the monarchy. The answer? We wouldn't be!
The paper is marking the 50th anniversary of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's 45-day tour of Canada and the United States by compiling memories of locals who were there the day the Royal Couple visited.
Until next time