Canada will mourn the Queen but will not lose money with it.
It turns out that for some flashy monarchists in Canada, their love for Queen Elizabeth II is literally razor thin.
That became clear earlier this week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared Monday 19 September a national holiday to celebrate the death of “one of my favorite people in the world”.
“Canada,” Trudeau said, is “in mourning.” Sure, most Canadians, I suppose, have paused to reflect for a moment or two on the death of a 96-year-old English monarch. But I haven’t seen much evidence of Canada gripping grief or stunned questioning about what will become of us now that their boring 73-year-old son Charles is king.
Instead, from my humble, admittedly Republican, standpoint, Canadians seem to be carrying on with life’s vagaries, disappointments, joys, and mundane demands just as much as before.
Meanwhile, the possibility that the entire country would enjoy an unexpected summer holiday on the eve of sunset came as a happy surprise amid the media-generated gloom.
I know. I know. What an insensitive lout I am. In my defence, I suspect many of my sensitive Republican compatriots in Canada – who, like me, have never counted the Queen among their “favorite people in the world” – also welcomed the news of the impromptu holiday.
And yet I felt a little betrayed. Britain – our mythical ‘mother country’ – is dedicating 10 days to commemorating the Queen’s seven-decade reign. By comparison, a meager tag seems loveless at best, or worse, a cheap royal discount.
Despite the sticky 24/7 reporting from reverent black-clad figures who have been talking on and on lately about the touching sight of Her late Majesty’s pious, grateful subjects waiting in long, snaking lines, a whole A number of Britons are reported to prefer watching football to a funeral – at home or in a pub.
Unfortunately, Trudeau’s “holiday” to allow surviving Canadians a chance to grieve — which strikes me as an oxymoron — came with a caveat. Only federal officials would get the day off to sit in front of a widescreen, high-definition TV and watch a bunch of bickering princes and princesses and an accused serial sex offender say goodbye to their dearest mom.
A disgruntled monarchist told a Canadian TV presenter: “She was the queen of everyone – she wasn’t just the queen of the public sector workers.”
Too true sir.
Unfortunately, the disgruntled monarchist’s persuasive logic escaped the attention of Ontario Premier Doug Ford – a media-anointed “populist” who has once again proved that he is not a “champion for the people” but a silly hypocrite.
Here Ford reads from a teleprompter with the sincerity of a mannequin to express his sadness at the end of “a remarkable life.”
“During her historic reign,” stammered Ford, “she taught us the true meaning of selfless service and was respected and admired for her sense of duty and dedication to charity.”
By Ford’s standards, the distant matriarch of a wealthy, dysfunctional breed of scheming amateurs born into position and privilege was the respected and admired paragon of service and duty.
So how did this true Tory plan to honor a dear late Blueblood’s “selfless” dedication to Canada and beyond? Predictably, he preferred money to the monarch.
Ford could have followed Trudeau’s generous example and given the Queen – we are, of course, reliably informed by the monarchy-revering tabloids – the devastated legion of working-class supporters in the provinces a shift-free chance not only to bid her farewell, but also, in sad solidarity, to present a miniature Waving the Union Jack.
While Doug “Jedermann” Ford offered his stilted condolences to the royal family, the callous cheapskate Canadian Federation of Independent Business published an appeal with distorting speed, urging provincial authorities to resist the populist temptation to make September 19 a ” to make a legally paid holiday”. .
I realize it’s perhaps a touch too early for a nod to Christmas. Still, it’s irresistible. Channeling the delightfully candid Ebenezer Scrooge, the unmoved President of the Federation, Dan Kelly, exclaimed: Bah humbug!