Representing Canada's republican movement, Citizens for a Canadian Republic’s broader objective is to promote replacing the British monarch as our head of state with a resident, democratically-selected Canadian.
Our organization's name is derived from the act of separating our governor general from the monarchy, which would make Canada a parliamentary republic similar to Ireland, Germany, Iceland, or recently, Barbados.
For the most part, our activities mainly include being available to the public and the media to help present the republican side of the monarchy debate, a position that until our inception in 2002, was primarily the domain of pro-monarchy groups who did not represent the majority of Canadians' views.
Specifically, however, the following represents our core beliefs:
- Attaining full-fledged status as a democratic parliamentary republic within the Commonwealth would be the completion of a process of independence that began nearly two centuries ago. While we have had legislative independence since the Statute of Westminster in 1931, and the ability to amend our constitution without approval from Britain's parliament since The Constitution Act in 1982, Canadians still cannot independently choose our own head of state. Until we can take control over that process, and chose a head of state from our own citizenry, we are as yet not a one hundred percent independent nation.
- A Canadianized head of state would be the embodiment of Canadian sovereignty, diversity and pride. At present, no Canadian citizen can ever aspire to be head of state of our own country, an embarrassing fact that belies Canada's status as a First World middle power. Notably, Canada is the only member of the G7 that does not have its own resident head of state.
- Our head of state should be a true representative of the People of Canada. The Queen does not represent Canada when she travels abroad, she represents the United Kingdom.
- Canada’s head of state should conform to Canadian laws of religious equality. Presently, the rules governing succession in the royal family constitutionally bind Canada to a process that specifically discriminates against members of the Roman Catholic faith. The monarch is also required to hold the position of Supreme Governor of The Church of England, thereby also preventing Jews, Hindus, Muslims or anyone not a member of that Protestant denomination from becoming Canada’s head of state. Section 15(1) of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms expressly forbids discrimination on the basis of "race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability."
- Inherited rights in government, symbolic or otherwise, is a concept incompatible with Canadian values of egalitarianism. In an opinion poll taken as far back as during the Golden Jubilee and Royal Visit in 2002 (and reinforced by subsequent opinion polls), a majority of Canadians believed "the Queen and the Royal Family should not have any formal role in Canadian society, as they are simply celebrities and nothing more."
- Canadians also see the monarchy as an outmoded and regressive institution that has no real relevance to most Canadians today.
In essence, we believe Canada's evolution to full nationhood should not be inhibited by a minority who cling to the remnants of an empire built on oppression and racism, an empire that even the British believe is no more.
Finally, after visiting our website, you may be wondering why an organization that seeks to end the monarchy has an absence of negative commentary of the royals.
The answer is simple: no member of the royal family stands in the way of Canada becoming a republic. It's a few Canadians who are holding back Canada's progress, and it's their minds we need to change, instead of insulting the Queen -- who admittedly, has performed her duties here without complaint.
Furthermore, upon examination of the hard data, dislike of the royals isn't driving republicanism here. Instead, it's a growing pride in our nation, and a belief that Canada is a grown-up country that needs to put its colonial past where it belongs: in a history book, not our constitution.