Does Canada need the Queen anymore?

monarchy
At 89 years old, Queen Elizabeth has held the throne for more than 63 years.

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest ruling monarch on Sept. 9, 2015, holding the throne more than 63 years.

Throughout her reign she has been head of state for over 32 states of the Commonwealth. However, the number of territories she has ruled over has dropped dramatically over the years to 16, one of which is still Canada.

In her time as ruling monarch the Queen has been scrutinized in the public eye many times, especially for her lack of interviews and the actions of her family.

There have been people like Tom Freda, the National Director for Citizens for a Canadian Republic, who said in a phone interview that the monarchy in Canada is “obsolete and just a new way to throw away citizens hard earned money.”

However, Cian Horrobin, the Regional Coordinator for the Monarchist League of Canada in Ontario, said that “people who believe the Queen is just a figurehead should probably get their heads checked, and realize exactly what having a Canadian Queen brings us.”

But what exactly does the monarchy bring us in this modern age of democracy?

As a constitutional monarch the Queen’s powers are limited. In fact, in Canada the Queen is seen by many as only a figurehead, as she generally must act on the advice of the Canadian Government and her representative, the Governor General.

Her role is purely ceremonial, and while she is head of state, which theoretically gives her the power to do things like preside over the army and enact legislation, she generally leaves that to the elected government officials.

However, many people don’t see a point with the Queen being a part of Canada anymore.

In 2014 more than 50 per cent of people surveyed by Canadian research firm Harris/Decima said they would like to have a Canadian head of state rather than the Queen.

These numbers are staggeringly lower than ones collected in 2012 by Canadian market research firm Ipsos Reid where in England she has a 90 per cent satisfaction rating among her subjects.

Another problem people see with the Queen as head of state is the amount of money the taxpayers of Canada spend to keep the monarchy.

According to Maclean’s, Canada pays more money per capita to the royal family than the British.

One person who believes this is good investment is Robert Finch, the Dominion Chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada, a group that believes the crown is an essential part of Canada.

“The money is worth what the royals bring to Canada in terms of strength and a bond with our sister nations they rule over,” said Finch.

Canada pays around $1.53 per capita, while people across the pond are paying $1.32.

This per capita amount is higher than our British counterpart due to the positions of governor general of Canada, and the ten lieutenant governors we have as emissaries to the Queen for each province.

The number adds up for Canadians to around $50 million a year according to the Monarchist League. However, this is still less than the British pay according to The Guardian, who puts the figure at $73.2 million a year.

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