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Copeland: Should Canada cut ties with the monarchy and become a republic?

By: /
11 June, 2012

My preference would be to remain a constitutional monarchy.

But the embarrassingly retro track that the government has embarked upon represents another thing entirely.

With the establishment of the bizarre “Sovereign’s Wall” front and centre in the DFAIT foyer – one British diplomatic colleague remarked to me that this had evoked in him an “out of body” experience – and the royal re-naming of the Canadian navy and air force, something of neo-colonial reaction appears to be afoot.

Moreover, the symbolic restoration of the role and place of the monarchy is just part of a thorough recasting of all aspects of the Canadian brand.

In a few short years, the image and reputation of this country have been transformed from that of Pearsonian internationalist (helpful fixer, honest broker, generous aid donor, earnest peacekeeper) to something akin to a royalist, free trading, warrior nation.

At minimum, and especially in a country as multicultural and diverse as Canada, this is surely a transformation worthy of broad public discussion and debate.

Instead, while the remaking steamrolls forward, the silence is deafening.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 

Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

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