CANADIAN REPUBLICANS WELCOME ROYAL VISIT

Toronto, ON - Oct. 4, 2002 - The organization that seeks to have a Canadian replace the Queen as Canada’s head of state welcomes the Queen and Prince Phillip to Canada and urges Canadians to take this occasion to engage in the discussion of the monarchy and its future in this country.

"She’s a visiting head of state and should be granted the same respect due to all visiting dignitaries of her stature", says Tom Freda, National Director of Citizens for a Canadian Republic.

Political Science author and policy analyst Randall White, Ph.D. echoed those sentiments.

"The monarchy has undeniably played an important role in our country’s past. It seems to me that even under the new Canadian republic of our dreams, the Queen and her heirs will always be welcomed and respected here.

Highlighting the benefits of the current interest generated by the Royal visit combined with the long overdue emergence of a national republican movement, he added "The time to start the debate and discussion is now".

White is an observer on Citizens for a Canadian Republic’s Executive Committee.

Offering the perspective of someone who’s traveled this road before is Greg Barns, Chair of the Australian Republican Movement from 2000 to 2002.

"Earlier this year the Queen visited Australia. All Australian republicans welcomed her as our head of state and no doubt Canadian republicans will do the same," he says.

Furthering this, he contends, "The fact that the Queen visits Australia and Canada as Head of State of both countries demonstrates more than ever the need for each to have their own head of state. The current situation is anachronistic and purely an accident of history. It does not represent our respective countries’ place in the world in the 21st century."

CCR also made it clear that it will not be organizing demonstrations at Royal visit events.

According to Mr. Freda, "The Queen has no power to influence Canada’s transition to a republic nor was she involved in its inception in Canada, so it serves no useful purpose to involve her personally in what is ultimately a Canadian matter. Canadians made British monarchs our head of state, Canadians perpetuate that system to this day and consequently, only Canadians can change it. We think our efforts are more wisely aimed in that direction than at the Queen", he adds.

This philosophy appears to be in line with that of Buckingham Palace. In a speech given in Australia in March of 2000, the Queen said "I have always made it clear that the future of the monarchy in Australia is an issue for you, the Australian people, and you alone, to decide by democratic and constitutional means. It should not be otherwise."

It’s even been speculated that both the Queen and Prince Philip have a surprisingly firm grasp on the emotional as well as the mechanical aspects of republicanism in the dominions. In the book, ‘Royal - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’ by Robert Lacey, following the Australian republican referendum loss in 1999, the Prince is reported saying: "What's the matter with these people? Can't they see what's good for them?" According to Lacey, the Queen responded: "Well, they couldn't agree on the model."

 

 

 

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