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
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
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
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",
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
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?"