COLUMN: Is there any relevance to ‘our’ monarchy?

As Will and Kate capture hearts and minds across the country, renewing (except perhaps in Quebec) passions many have for the monarchy, they are also reminding others how irrelevant that institution really is in Canada.

As Will and Kate capture hearts and minds across the country, renewing (except perhaps in Quebec) passions many have for the monarchy, they are also reminding others how irrelevant that institution really is in Canada.

Representing the Crown in this country is the Governor General … how many of you know his name, or what he actually does.

In each province there is also a Lieutenant Governor, the names of whom I’m certain, other than B.C.’s Steven Point, escapes everyone.

So why do we have them, other than to perpetuate a colonial perception that for all intent and purpose ended 144 years ago?

And as far as the monarchy goes, Canada to them is little more than a vacation destination to visit only rarely.

Yet at every citizenship ceremony, new Canadians pledge allegiance to the Queen. I suppose in one way it is nice to have something the Americans don’t, but do we need to spend so much money for such minor bragging rights? Because you can be assured the Governor General and all those Lieutenant Governors cost us a fortune every year.

Then again, I’m also sure that should these positions and titles be phased out, our governments would find something equally expensive to replace them.

Yet while we continue to perpetuate importance of the monarchy, and our ties to Great Britain, it is interesting that the government of the UK has less regard for us, and its own citizens who live here.

Case in point. If you are a British citizen living in Canada, and you need to renew your passport you’d think it was just a simple matter of, say, going to the British Consulate in Vancouver and making your application for renewal or, failing that, at least contacting the UK’s Consul General in Ottawa.

Nope, sorry: if a Brit wants to renew a passport while in Canada, he/she needs to pony up about $275 (in U.S. funds no less!), and send the application and money to Washington, D.C. for processing and approval.

Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? The Yanks go to war, and win complete independence. We retain our ties, and keep the monarchy. And a Brit in Canada has to apply for a British passport in the U.S.! You would have thought, if it was all about saving money and thus having only one UK passport office in North America, that it would at least be located in the country that has the closest ties to Britain.

Granted, there may be more British ex-pats living in the U.S., but even that should not override the long-standing relationship Canada has with our official ‘mother country’. Because like it or not, and regardless of your origin, by retaining the monarchy, Great Britain is just that to Canada.

Will that last though, considering the incredible demographic change that immigration is bringing to this country? Will these new Canadians eventually demand that we mature into a completely independent nation, the only sovereignty we hold will be our own?

In the meantime, at least Will and Kate are cute and they, like movie stars or hockey heroes, create a pleasant diversion to talk of the weather and, I would guess, the potential horde of mosquitoes we’ll probably fight off this summer.

Just Posted

Xauni de Figeuiroa of Abbotsford has been selected to attend a virtual space camp hosted by the Canadian Space Agency at the end of July.
Abbotsford student selected to attend virtual space camp

Xauni de Figeuiroa among 52 youth selected from across Canada

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read