While America basks in the regal glow of a visit by those blue bloods from Britain, all is not well in a remote Canadian backwater of the Empire. It seems that a plucky band of city councillors in the city of Victoria (Canada’s garden and seniors’ capital) have been fomenting a revolt and openly thumbed their collective peasant noses at our royal overlords. Naturally, monarchists everywhere are aghast. One of whom was quoted as saying that the current mayor, Ms. Lisa Helps, would not have been elected without the monarchist vote (Wait, that’s a ballot question now? God HELP us! ).
You see Ms. Helps and her merry band of mutineers are slaying the sacred Canadian cow of pledging allegiance to la Reine Elizabeth II and all of her heirs. They have the gall to cite hundreds of years of colonial oppression of first nations people in Canada, particularly in British Columbia, by the crown and its many Canadian representatives (which includes just about any government entity you can name in this country). Though the oath is not binding, the way it is at every other level of government, Ms. Helps is mocking one of this country’s finest traditions of submitting to a foreign Queen and worshipping a costly relic of the feudal era. Not to mention ridiculing a real draw for American tourists who didn’t realize that we don’t have a President in Canada but instead have a King (Governor General David Johnston).
The truth is Ms. Helps is not alone in her odious republicanism. In the new multicultural Canada, many of us have an axe to grind with the ancient British institution of the monarchy, not just French Canadians (in Quebec, former Premier Pauline Marois refused to take the oath publicly) and aboriginal Canadians. This was very much in evidence last year when a group of Canadian non-citizens took the crown to court and lost, after claiming that the oath of citizenship contradicted their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (freedom of conscience anyone?).
We should all be loyal subjects to the crown, of course, regardless of how badly behaved its Canadian symbols can occasionally be. Consider, for example, the case of her “excellence” the former Lieutenant Governor General of Québec, Lise Thibeault, who has pled guilty to charges of fraud and corruption after squandering more than $400,000 of her hard-earned taxpayer provided dough on various luxuries. Ms. Thibeault’s lawyer originally argued, quite sensibly, that she could not be prosecuted because she enjoyed the same immunity as her majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Regardless the upstart judge, Carol St-Cyr, had the effrontery to dismiss this obscure point, and rule that Ms. Thibeault would have to repay the state for her illegal expenses, like some sort of commoner. The poor thing has been living on a modest $30,000 a year pension (also provided by public funds) ever since retiring from her regal post. I ask you dear reader, hasn’t she suffered enough?
After all, haven’t past governor generals given us our most cherished sports trophies, whilst indulging in a little subversion of the democratic process, on the odd occasion. And doesn’t our beloved governor general keep the peace in Parliament and only appoint the finest individuals to public office, whether they be Senator Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin or the now banished Patrick Brazeau? Not to mention putting their royal rubber stamp on only those laws those meet the highest legal standards of justice and fairness. Where would we be as country without their sage advice on matters of prorogation and other such constitutional crises? Nowhere, I say! May god have mercy on all of us if we ever degenerate into the Australian treachery of holding a referendum on abolishing the monarchy. In Canada we love our silly status quo, GOD SAVE IT!!!
Other articles by David DesBaillets
Are Canadian unions divorcing the NDP?
Harper misses the point on calls for public inquiry into missing aboriginal women
Has the Harper government declared war on Canadian charities
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