I enjoy reading the Mountain News. It's a community newspaper that caters to residents that live on the "mountain" in Hamilton, Ontario. In the Jan. 12/17 edition I read an individual's comment in the editorial section titled, "Pay $50 million to Canadians rather than British Monarchy." I never (for the life of me) knew that Canadian tax payers paid into the Crown...63 years old and still learning.
Canada separated from G.B. (Great Britain) after being granted autonomy, in most of it's affairs, in 1931 by the Statute of Westminster. Canada obtained "complete" independence from G.B. through the Canada Act in 1982...however you wouldn't know it.
We all know Canada was an ally to G.B. in both World Wars. It was certainly an extremely tragic and devastating good deed, considering numerous Canadians were killed or seriously wounded in combat.
After reading the Mountain News article I decided to do some research of my own. I read a piece in MacLeans magazine, July 14/09, which stated the Queen costs Canadians more than what the Brits pay and Canadian costs are rapidly increasing. Expenses include Royal Family visits and the price of operating offices of the Governor General and the ten provincial Lieutenant Governors.
The Ontario Lieutenant Governor employs nine staff members. The B.C. (British Columbia) office is very expensive to manage because of it's 102 room official residence for it's Lieutenant Governor...what the hell goes on there?
C.B.C. news reported on Jan. 15/15, in 2011-2012 the Ontario Lieutenant Governor's expenses were $1,359,100 and for all other Lieutenant Governors their cost was $6,344,802. The Federal government pays the annual salaries for all Lieutenant Governors (ten in total) which is $126,241 each...in other words you and I "donate" our money.
The Lieutenant Governor is the representative of the Crown in each province. Some of their responsibilities are, (1) promote a sense of identity...my thought, identity to what...we are all Canadians, (2) representing the Queen in the province...my thought, appoint one of the provincial ministers, (3) acting as the provinces' official host...my thought, Premiers are the head of their provinces so why not be the emcee, (4) supporting social clauses...my thought, I don't recall ever seeing these delegates protesting with anti-poverty groups or march in Pride Parades, (5) recognizing outstanding citizens...my thought, politicians can perform the same task. I think you see where I'm going here...needless bureaucracy.
Then we have the Governor General...the Commander-in-Chief of Canada. He or she is the representative of the Crown at the Federal level that regards the Queen as the head of state. Their salary is a nice chunk of change, just under $300,000 a year. According to Yahoo Finances April 20/16 the Governor General's office expense for 2014-2015 was $20.86 million.
An additional support of $22.06 million was given from other government branches such as the Department of Defence, the R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and the National Capital Commission which focuses on preserving official residences and is responsible for the Ministry of Heritage...sounds like government babysitting government.
Here are some job duties for this overpaid bureaucrat, (1) summon and dissolving of Parliament...my thought, the Speaker of the House of Commons can conduct that function, (2) reading the Throne Speech...my thought, again, another task for the Speaker, (3) giving Royal Assent which makes acts of Parliament into law...my thought, a simple job for the politicians, (4) promoting a sense of identity...my thought, oh my, here we go again with that word identity, we don't need a high priced official proclaim to us who we really are.
The Lieutenant Governors are appointed by the Governor General and the Prime Minister (P.M.) of Canada and the Federal cabinet. The Governor General is appointed by the Queen of England on advice from the P.M., sounds like an exclusive boys and girls club...reminds me of our Canadian Senate.
The Monarchists League of Canada (M.L.C.) is Canada's Constitutional Monarchy. It was founded in 1970 and federally incorporated in 1976. The are a non-profit organization that describes themselves as a national patriotic society supporting Canada's Constitutional Monarchy. They "claim" it only costs each Canadian $1.53 a year (the price of a Tim Horton's coffee) to support the Crown. They also maintain the Constitutional Monarchy plays a vital role in Canada's identity...between the government and the M.L.C. they certainly want to ram THEIR identity down our throats.
Some of their suggestions to promote the Crown are as follows: streets and public buildings or similar suitable public places be named after the Queen and members of the Royal Family, asking your faith leader to include prayer for the Queen and Royal Family at every service and buy stamps with the Queen's picture on it. I look at the stamp as a very self-centered item because Canada Post outlets MUST carry stamps with the Queen's picture on them
In the past the Canadian government has eliminated some of the monarchy traits. The British Red Ensign was replaced with the Maple Leaf flag, God Save the Queen was exchanged for O, Canada and the Royal Mail was renamed Canada Post. It was suppose to be the start of a new identity, but of course the government only pruned a couple of branches off the 100 year old oak tree.
After these changes, supporters of monarchy were, shall I say, devastated and formed the M.L.C. They actively lobbied the federal and provincial governments, individual politicians, crown corporations, government agencies and the media (they definitely solicit the correct groups) through organized letter writing campaigns and behind the scenes manoeuvering. Hmm...I wonder how effective the latter is? L.O.L. The M.L.C. has 20 branch offices and contact groups throughout Canada.
Then we have the almighty Government of Canada state on their website Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy and is essential and relevant for our identity, contributing to the sense of unity and pride among Canadians. What the hell does government know about harmony and self-respect and why is it so necessary, crucial, mandatory and fitting for our lives? Life will go on, with or without monarchy.
Many people are fascinated with monarchy, specifically the Royal Family...it's like they are spellbound and mesmerized. My parents (R.I.P. and God rest your souls) were two such individuals who were absorbed with monarchy. They were born in Canada and so were their parents. My mother adored Queen Elizabeth 2, admired her so much she had a collectors china pate or her picture located on her buffet for numerous years.
My father also honoured and praised royalty. He served in World War 2 and saw plenty of action. Whenever I "challenged" him on any monarchy subject he would become very annoyed at me and the "debate" would be finished in less than ten seconds. I also recall when Canada's new maple leaf flag became official on Feb. 15/65. My father was angry and irritated...he was absolutely opposed to the change. He stated we didn't fight for that flag in the war.
For some people the Royal Family is enchanting because it reminds them when they were children fantasizing about Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses and the Royal Family is reality. They are also modern day celebrities and they receive a great amount of publicity. Maybe you could say people look at royalty the same way they do with actors and athletes...at least actors and athletes provide us with entertainment.
Throughout my life I've had acquaintances with many Brits. I can honestly say I found them to be truly friendly and pleasant individuals. Two of my very good friends were born in Scotland, an old high school buddy in Glasgow and a fellow football coach in Edinburgh. One characteristic I noticed was if they were advocates of monarchy, they undoubtedly didn't preach the Crown to other people.
I have always been perplexed why Canada never celebrated our first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald's birthday, but we commemorate Queen Victoria's natal day...it's a statutory holiday and most people receive a day off with pay from work. Through some research I discovered MacDonald wasn't, shall I say, your politically correct P.M. If that's the reason we don't observe his day, there must be at least one bureaucrat we could recognize his birthday as a holiday. I'm sure there are a lot of countries that acknowledge their first President's or P.M.'s birthday.
The M.L.C. should be very happy with such titles like the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, Royal Ontario Museum, Royal Mint, Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Canadian Institute and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They must also be delighted with some of our highways named after certain Kings and Queens and the Queen's picture on our currency.
I read some disturbing quotes from our teenage P.M. in an article from the Toronto Sun Feb. 11/17 titled "Canadians are proud of our unique identity." Kellie Leitch who is campaigning for the Leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada says she will protect and promote Canadian values. Meanwhile this is what our adolescent P.M. had to say: "Canada has no core identity, no mainstream and is a post national state." Now I ask you, how the hell do we encourage and reinforce our identity when this juvenile (which I remind you again, he never worked a day in his life) is slamming and trashing any identity we try to maintain...he is patronizing Canadians.
By no means whatsoever I wrote this rant to taunt, ridicule or mock anyone from the U.K. (United Kingdom)...that was not my objective and goal. In my opinion U.K. folks are some of the nicest and personable people you could every meet. If I came across offending anyone, my deepest apologies. We are Canadians and have values and traditions. We work hard and most of us abide the laws and rules of the country. Our ancestry revolves around many backgrounds and countries. We like to say eh, and are known for ice hockey, maple syrup, back bacon, Tim Horton coffee franchises and our winter wonderland. We have talented actors and musicians. Calgary Alberta, Toronto Ontario and Vancouver British Columbia are classified as world class cities...sorry Chris Murray, City Manager for Hamilton, Ontario who stated in his high priced irrational thinking that Hamilton was a world class city...must be something in the ventilation system at City Hall. We have a simple identity...we are Canadians. We don't require the government and the M.L.C. to contribute and nurture our identity with monarchy. Whether it's a cost of a Tim Horton's cup of coffee for every Canadian once a year or not, the money we "donate" to the British Monarchy could be granted towards poverty, health care, our armed forces and women's shelters to name a few.
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