Republic supporters
 
Often, one hears the monarchist myth that republicanism is a "fringe issue" or has failed to generate any substantial interest among Canadians. If you've seen our page on Canadian public opinion polls and republican support within the federal political parties, you already know that theory is simply not true. To supplement that data, we've also compiled this list of prominent Canadians who are on record as supporters of ending Canada's constitutional link to the monarchy.

(Note: This is just a select sample of names and is by no means definitive. CCR will be adding to it on an ongoing basis as new information is compiled and verified. For the time being, we've also omitted people who have expressed support but are not yet on the public record, or many organizers involved with Citizens for a Canadian Republic.)

* New addition July 31, 2011

 
A
Warren Allmand Former member of parliament & cabinet minister "In my bill [to remove reference to the Queen in the Citizenship Oath], it says that we ask people to pledge allegiance to the Canadian Constitution... My bill does not abolish the monarchy. Perhaps I would like to do that sometime, but that's not what this bill does." Hansard 10/29/96
B
Michael Bliss Professor of History, University of Toronto, Author, Member of the Order of Canada "It’s an absurdity that in 21st century Canada, no Canadian can aspire to be head of state of Canada." National Post 1/21/11
C
Andrew Cohen * Founding president of the Historica-Dominion Institute, professor of journalism and international affairs at Carleton University. "Now, in a new century, ... Canadians should not shrink from continuing, if not completing, their journey to independence. In making the governor general Canada's head of state, we will create a worthy institution inspired by Britain, but made in Canada." Ottawa Citizen, July 2, 2011
 
Deborah Coyne Lawyer, co-founder of the Canada for All Canadians Committee and the Canadian Coalition on the Constitution, federal candidate in Toronto-Danforth in 2006, federal party leadership candidate 2013. When we look for a unifying symbol with which all Canadians identify, it is certainly not the monarchy, .... It is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Charter Day Commentary (April 2013) - What it means to be Canadian
 
D
Herb Dhaliwal Former member of parliament & cabinet minister "It's clearly the way to go [ending the monarchy]. There's an historic inevitability to Canada's reaching full independence." Globe and Mail 12/98
 
Peter Donolo Political strategist, former prime ministerial advisor, former consul general, lawyer "It would all be almost comfortingly predictable. If it weren't so maddeningly provincial; a G7 nation behaving like a colonial outpost. And a reminder of some unfinished business: that, despite all the strides we've made in 135 years of nationhood, despite our standing at the front ranks of the nations of the world, we still have a foreign monarch as our head of state." Macleans Magazine, 10/21/02
 
Ken Dryden Former member of parliament, lawyer, businessman, author, former NHL goaltender Columnist Lawrence Martin wrote: "Ken Dryden reveals he wants to dispense with the monarchy....The country without the Queen, without colonial vestige, fits Ken Dryden's vision of Canada as "The Global Society."" Globe and Mail 4/2/06
F
Allan Fotheringham Author, journalist, broadcaster "There it is for the poor, ignorant rest-of-the-world [the NY Times on proroguing parliament], who will now know that it isn’t even a Canadian citizen who is the final proprietor of the sanctity of Parliament, but a messenger who is responsible to a queen who lives in a castle across a large ocean." National Post 12/11/08
     
Will Ferguson Author, humourist,  recipient of Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour "Royalty exists only through an act of willful ignorance on the part of their subjects. Call it a suspension of common sense." Why I hate Canadians, 1997
G
Ken Gray Journalist, columnist, academic "I stumble over the fact that Canada has a Queen, for that institution doesn't reflect the country I know. Canada is not British anymore, but rather wonderfully independent with its own institutions and culture while the Queen is vaguely colonial." Ottawa Citizen 10/11/10
     
Lorne Gunter Journalist, columnist "But it [the monarchy] is seen by Canadians - and rightly so - as increasingly irrelevant. Charles, as king, would only accelerate the drift apart. Before that day arrives, it would be smart of us to debate a made-in-Canada alternative." National Post 12/22/10
H
Bob Hepburn Journalist, columnist "[I] wonder why Canada, which claims to be independent, keeps marking the birth of a long dead British queen who never set foot on this soil, yet doesn't have a single national holiday to honour a Canadian. [It] is time to stop calling it Victoria Day, a sad vestige of British colonialism... Countries change, as Canada has. Such bowing and scraping to Britain seems archaic now." Toronto Star 5/15/08
     
Michael Ignatieff Academic (Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, University of Toronto), authour, journalist, former member of parliament, federal party leader & leader of opposition “Instead, as in all Commonwealth democracies like ours, I swore an oath to Her Majesty the Queen and her heirs and successors. The ‘heirs and successors’ part stuck in my throat, since I think we ought to decide, when the current Queen dies, whether to continue to acknowledge her family as our sovereign." Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (Memoir)
K
Janice Kennedy Writer, columnist "At 143 years of age, Canada embarrasses itself by still playing the adolescent... It is time to move on. We can keep celebrating our history and that part of our heritage that is British... We can stay in the Commonwealth. But in the meantime, it really is time to say goodbye. It really is time to grow up." Ottawa Citizen 7/8/10
L
Laurier LaPierre Former Canadian senator, former broadcaster, journalist, author, Officer of the Order of Canada "The sooner we put an end to this monarchist system ... the sooner we will accept the Governor General as the real head of state." Ottawa Citizen 10/8/09
M
Roy MacGregor Journalist, columnist "It had been somewhat presumed in Canada - even more so in Australia - that once the beloved Queen goes, so, too, should the unloved Prince and the whole archaic, colonial, goofy idea of a monarchy in which males count for more than females and Roman Catholics count for nothing." Globe and Mail 4/6/09
     
John Manley Former member of parliament & deputy prime minister, lawyer "Personally, I would prefer an institution after Queen Elizabeth that is just Canadian. It might be as simple as continuing with just the Governor General as the head of state in Canada. But I don't think it's necessary for Canada to continue with the monarchy." CTV 10/6/02
     
Lawrence Martin Journalist, columnist "Canada's 150th birthday in 2017 isn't that far away. For big dreamers, the realization of national projects to mark the occasion stir the imagination. One, ... is a final break with our colonial vestiges. The creation of an independent republic of Canada. Nothing less than a new identity to replace whatever the old one was." Globe and Mail 11/4/09
     
Pat Martin Member of parliament "This is as good an argument [cost of royal visit] as I have ever heard for a republic of Canada. It's time for us to get rid of the monarchy and grow up." SunMedia 11/25/09
     
Sean McCann Actor "[I] never, ever toast the Queen as Canada's head of state." National Post, 11/16/04 "[The monarchy] really doesn’t have any relevance to the average Canadian." Toronto Star 4/15/11
     
Edward (Ted) McWhinney Lawyer, academic specializing in constitutional and international law, former member of parliament In his book 'The governor general and the prime ministers: the making and unmaking of governments,' McWhinney suggests phasing out the monarchy when the Queen's reign ends by not proclaiming a successor. "The Office of the Queen would thus remain in the Constitution, but inactive and, like very many other historically spent sections of the Constitution Act, wither away and lapse by constitutional convention." Vancouver Sun 4/17/05
     
Rick Mercer Comedian, television personality, political satirist "Look, Canada is 147 years old, and we still pledge allegiance to a family that lives in a castle in England? No hard feelings, nothing personal. It's time we grew up." Rick Mercer Report, 11/17/09

"We're not British people any more. It's time to get the Queen off our money and turn this place [Rideau Hall] into a big park. This hour has 22 minutes Oct, 1997

     
Thomas Mulcair Member of parliament, deputy party leader "When the current Queen dies, it will be "time for Canada to grow up," [Pat] Martin said. He quickly added he wasn't sure whether that was the position of the NDP or just himself. But deputy leader Thomas Mulcair, sitting at Martin's side, said he agreed." Winnipeg Free Press 11/16/10
P
Alan Park 
 
Comedian, television personality "Having our politicians swear an oath to a foreign based corporation [the monarchy] ... is about as silly as placing your hand on your chest and swearing an oath to Kentucky Fried Chicken." CCR Victoria Day forum 3/18/09
     
Charles Pascal Academic (Professor at OISE University of Toronto), former Ontario deputy minister "It’s time to cut the cord, time for a referendum ... it’s time we developed a made-in-Canada approach [to the head of state] that is transparent and truly democratic." Toronto Star 3/6/11
S
Alex Shepherd Former member of parliament "The sovereign should be "replaced by a uniquely Canadian head of state. It is time for us to grow up as a country."" Los Angeles Times 4/26/96
     
Jeffrey Simpson Journalist, columnist, author. "Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Canada and sundry countries is 83 years old. God bless her, and long may she reign over us – after which Canada should cut its ties to the British monarchy." Globe and Mail 10/30/09
     
David E. Smith Academic (Professor of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan), leading authority on constitutional governance
in Canada
"There is no longer any strong idea behind the Canadian monarchy and its representative in Canada. Left as it is, the monarchy will continue to atrophy. Canadians, who have often led Australia in constitutional change, would do better this time to follow the Australian lead, and adopt a minimal republican state, one that retains the essence of parliamentary government and changes only the way the head of state is chosen. Any reforms should take care to assure that those powers that still reside with the Sovereign should be transferred to the new head of state." Republican Tendancies, Policy Options, May 1999
     
Keith Spicer Academic, public servant, journalist, writer "Why care if Canada is a constitutional joke abroad? Well, it feeds Quebec separatism [and] ... tells Canadian children every day, with each Queen-bearing dollar they clutch, that their country is not quite grown-up. Worst of all, it tells the world that we don't much respect ourselves." Ottawa Citizen 12/22/08
     
William T. Stanbury Academic (Professor emeritus Commerce University of British Columbia) "The symbol of the once-strong colonial (and emotional) connection with Britain is today a heavy mental shackle. How will Canadians ever be able to call their elected representatives to account when the language of their fundamental institutions strongly implies that they are "subjects," not autonomous citizens who alone possess the moral legitimacy to delegate authority to government and to hold it accountable?" The Hill Times, 9/2/02
T
Brian Tobin Former member of parliament & cabinet minister, lawyer “It‘s a little bit silly don’t you think that in the world today Canada has a head of state, somebody who is born in another country, to be our Head of State. We can’t come to some other arrangement among ourselves? I don’t accept that and I think it’s an appropriate time and I think the time is coming soon, we ought to make a change.” The Telegraph 10/28/09
     
John E. Trent Academic (Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa, Fellow of the Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa), founding president of Dialogue Canada In 1996, arguing against the monarchy in a debate, said the monarchy is "a hindrance to the development of Canada's political culture." The monarchy: for or against? = La monarchie: pour ou contre? A debate held by Cité Libre 1/17/96
V
Michel Virard Vice-President, Humanist Association of Québec (AHQ), IT entrepreneur "The current monarchy state of Canada is actually not a force for unity and stability ... but rather a way to alienate a majority of Canadians, first and foremost the Quebec society, but also many newcomers ... who do not see what the heck a foreign monarch is doing at the apex of the Canadian confederation."
W
Margaret Wente Journalist, columnist "The truth is that the monarchy stands for much that has held Canada back. It embodies the triumph of inheritance over merit, of blood over brains, of mindless ritual over innovation. The monarchy reminds us to defer to authority and remember our place. In Quebec, the Royals are regarded as an insult." Globe and Mail 10/7/02
Y
Barbara Yaffe Journalist, columnist "With Canadians feeling so negatively about the future king and expressing a growing fondness for the made-in-Canada governors general, Ottawa ought to be exploring options, however quietly and respectfully. Elizabeth is not going to give two years notice of her death. Harper should name a panel of constitutional advisers to provide advice on future options for the head of state." Vancouver Sun 7/15/10

From history ...    
     
John J. Conway
(1916-1995)
Academic (Professor of Humanities, York University, Professor of History, Harvard University) "Whether treated as an alien or fraternal symbol, the British monarchy has stunted imagination and discouraged initiative." The republican option in Canada, past and present. p18, Pt 1
     
Mitchell Sharp
(1911 - 2004)
Member of parliament, cabinet minister, prime ministerial advisor, Companion of the Order of Canada recipient, declined appointee to position of governor general "Canada should have its own head of state who is not shared by others. The Queen and her successors could then have a special place as head of the Commonwealth as well as queen or king of Great Britain. In that capacity, the monarch would be received with enthusiasm and acclaim by Canadians in all parts of the country, including places Queen Elizabeth is now reluctant to visit." Which Reminds Me - A Memoir 1994, Mitchell Sharp
     
Walter Tarnopolsky (1932 – 1993) Judge, legal scholar, pioneer in the development of human rights law and civil liberties in Canada "Both for the sake of keeping Quebec in Canada and for the sake of the just and egalitarian society that I think is our aim, Canada will become a republic within the Commonwealth."  Multiculturalism - The Basic Issues p.146
     
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