David Lloyd Johntson seems like a good guy. Three names, Cambridge grad, a mediator. Not a bad guy for the job. Oh, what job you ask? He’s the appointed member of Canadian government has the power to prorogue, is the chief of chiefs, the regal legal head of our country. A representative of the Queen of Canada (her official title on the books on this side of the water). He’s got a sweet pad in Ottawa, some cash to entertain and visit, and gets invited to all the right parties.
Why, oh why do we have this person as the head of our government? He exclaims, exasperated.
So I’m not a monarchist. That’s not the point of this posting. It’s bigger than that.
Any of you ever been to Haida Gwaii? How about to the Queen Charlotte Islands? Right…they’re the same place, thankfully changed to a name that actually represented the people who lived there. Here I write from a province called British Columbia (which is neither British nor Columbian, nationally speaking) with our capital city, Victoria and a whole bunch of other towns and cities named for our royal overlords of yesteryear. And who’s on our coins and the $20? Right. A old queen who lives in a castle in a distant land. Do you know how much it cost us to bring Prince Chuck over here for a few weeks? $2.57 million. And how much news did the new royal engagement garner? Too goddamn much.
The point of this posting is about having symbols and governmental practices that mean something to us as a group of people; the names we give places, our ferries, how we dissolve government, the mandatory information our new Canadians must learn in order to be part of our country. Last I checked, we haven’t been written a cheque by the Family of Windsor for this branding. What’s the deal? How come our country is stuck in our colonial past?
Some have told me, “it’s one of the few things keeping us from being American.” And, apologies United Statesers, but that is not a direction many of us favour. Others have said, “it’s tradition. Why do you wanna go and change everything?” Others have the fear of having President Harper in charge of things. Re-writing the constitution seems like a lot of work, no?
Here’s a list of places and things I’d like to change:
- Nova Scotia (it’s not even that Scottish anymore)
- Regina, SK (think about it)
- London, ON (so dumb)
- Prince Albert, BC
- Prince George, BC
- Prince Rupert, BC
- British Columbia
- Prince Edward Island
- Victoria, BC
- Fredericton, NB
And can we please have someone else on our money? I swear we’re not putting Prince Chuck on my coins (“ears or tails” would be the new phrase). I want people to swear allegiance to Canada, not to the Queen of England. No more lieutenant governors, no more governor general, no more monarchy! Give me Tommy Douglas on my $20. Give me Terry Fox on my toonie! Our ships are not Her Royal Majesty’s.
A federal community and the symbols that link us together across this huge expanse of land tickles the unity we feel with our neighbours. Let’s step it up and make it more about us and not an old lady in a castle in a far away land.
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