Canada should sever ties with the British royals—now, rather than later

a broken crown

Barbados’ recent split from the royal family has renewed calls for Canada to do the same. It should.

It’s been a long time since the Queen held any sway over Canada’s politics—pre-1987 to be exact. Now she exists as no more than a symbol, yet it costs us millions of dollars a year to support her and her family.

In a 10-1 vote with two abstentions, the Journal Editorial Board majority agreed that cutting ties with the British monarchy—now, rather than later—would be the right call.

If anything, maintaining ties with the monarchy only reinforces a colonialist past. The Queen may be nothing more than a symbol for Canadians, but she represents something far more nefarious: a history of brutal colonialism as a means of increasing Britain’s power.

This is without mentioning recent allegations that Meghan Markle experienced racism during her time with the royal family, particularly in the form of comments regarding concerns about “how dark” her son would be.

Canada’s connection with the British monarchy isn’t harmless, nor does it contribute anything productive to our country. The Queen might just be a symbol, but symbolically, she ties Canada to Britain’s colonial past.

Splitting from the royals would be a positive thing not just symbolically, but financially. The millions of dollars we spend on the royal family would be better spent within Canada itself.

A growing number of people seem to agree. As of this year, a historic 45 per cent of Canadians said they would prefer an elected head of states, as opposed to the monarchy. That’s 13 points up from last year.

Canada has been an independent body for a long time. While many of our grandparents may have grown up singing God Save the Queen, the royals are becoming less and less of a facet of our everyday lives.

Some argue that now—as Canada continues to grapple with COVID-19—is not the time to split from the monarchy. They believe doing so would only serve to cause divisions we don’t need right now.

That may be true, but plenty has continued the past year despite the pandemic. Pipelines are still being built and corporations are still thriving, as they always do. There’s no reason Canada can’t split from the monarchy now.

Logistically, breaking away from the monarchy will be difficult and require a lot of paperwork. But if Canada commits to separating itself from Britain’s dark past—which it can and should—we would be better off for it.

Journal Editorial Board

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