Barbados just got rid of the Queen — should Canada follow suit?

Asia's Tech News Daily

Barbados just got rid of the Queen — should Canada follow suit?
© Jackson Weaver/CBC The Barbadian and Canadian flags are seen flying together. In a ceremony on Nov. 30, Barbados transitioned to a republic, severing their government’s ties with the British monarchy. That presents the question: should Canada do the same?

When Barbados’ then-Governor General Sandra Mason uttered a few words on a low stage in National Heroes Square in the early morning of Nov. 30, she did more than change the country.

As she was sworn in as president, she was no longer a representative of Queen Elizabeth, but head of state herself. That shifted Barbados from a constitutional monarchy into a republic — and reopened an old debate.

Barbados is the first country to remove the Queen as sovereign since Mauritius did the same 30 years ago. Now, Canada is among the last 15 countries — of the 32 total since Elizabeth began her rule — to continue to hold her in their highest office. 

And as Mason uttered the few words pledging herself to her new role, and for the first time putting a person born in the country as the head of state, it raised a pertinent question: If Barbados can do it, why can’t Canada?

Barbados just got rid of the Queen — should Canada follow suit?
© Jackson Weaver/CBC Dancers celebrate at Barbados’ Nov. 30 Independence Day ceremony in National Heroes Square. Shortly after, the country transitioned to a republic when Governor General Sandra Mason was sworn in as president.

Barbados’ move from a constitutional monarchy to a republic was aided by a sweeping election win in 2018. Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s Barbados Labour Party won all 30 seats in Parliament — paving the way for a vote, for which Mottley only required a two-thirds majority in both houses of Parliament

And while some citizens were upset there was no public vote on the issue, they were able to enact the change in little over a year.

Philippe Lagassé, a constitutional expert and associate professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, explained that it would be much more difficult to do the same in Canada. For the country to amend the Constitution and replace the Queen as head of state, they would need to enact article 41(a) of the Constitution Act of 1982. That statute requires a majority approval from “Senate and House of Commons and of the legislative assembly of each province” — meaning all ten provinces would need to agree (though not the territories).

And while a referendum is not legally required, he said it’s incredibly unlikely any — let alone all — would move forward without one.

Barbados just got rid of the Queen — should Canada follow suit?
© Jackson Weaver/CBC Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley makes a speech at Golden Square Freedom Park in Bridgetown, Barbados. Mottley’s government won all 30 parliamentary seats in the country’s most recent election.

Even then, that’s far from the only thing standing in the way. First, as Canada’s current governing party is far from the majority that Mottley’s enjoyed, it would be virtually impossible to change Canada’s governmental system — even if a vote did pass.

“As we saw when it came to efforts to amend the Constitution in the past,” Lagassé said, “individual members have mechanisms at their disposal where they could delay or potentially derail that effort, even if a majority of members who might be in favour.”

But even getting to that point would prove unlikely. While a recent poll by the Angus Reid Institute found 52 per cent of Canadians said the country shouldn’t remain a constitutional monarchy indefinitely, Canada continues to enjoy a unique relationship with the Crown.

Carolyn Harris, a Toronto historian and author specializing in the history of the monarchy, explained that Canada is the country that has received the most royal visits of any of the commonwealth realms — the Queen has visited Canada more than any other country outside the United Kingdom.

And while many Canadians don’t want to see the monarchy go on forever, there is still a favourable view of Queen Elizabeth herself.

There have been fewer visits of late as Elizabeth, who is 95, has had declines in health — but after “waxing and waning” interest between the 1960s and 1990s, Harris said interest in the Queen and the monarchy in general actually increased after she visited for her Golden Jubilee in 2002, then celebrated Canada Day on Parliament Hill in 2010.

Barbados just got rid of the Queen — should Canada follow suit?
© Jackson Weaver/CBC Britain’s Prince Charles, heir to the throne, receives the Freedom of Barbados Award from President Sandra Mason at a ceremony marking the country’s transformation into a republic, Nov. 30, 2021.

Canadians’ interest in and loyalty to the Royal Family may fade when her son Prince Charles takes the throne after her death, she said, but even then it’s unlikely it would trigger an overhaul of our system of government. Instead, if there were a strong republican sentiment in the country — which both Harris or Lagassé say doesn’t exist — there would likely just be fewer royal visits and a less prominent role for the monarchy to play, instead of a removal.

“There are so many other issues that matter to Canadians at this time, that it seems unlikely that the future of the monarchy would be made the focus of any of a politician’s electoral platform,” Harris said.

Another complicating factor, Harris noted, is the status of the various treaties the Crown has made with Indigenous people.

Barbados just got rid of the Queen — should Canada follow suit?
© Jackson Weaver/CBC A dancer performs at Golden Square Freedom Park in Barbados at a ceremony honouring the country’s ‘national heroes’ on Nov. 30.

But Gordon Christie, an expert in Aboriginal law at the University of B.C.’s Allard School of Law in Vancouver, said that fear is overblown.

From as far back as 1701, the British Crown entered into treaties with Indigenous groups in what is now Canada, meant to define the respective rights for both those of European descent and Indigenous people on the lands.

While many of those treaties were signed before Canada became a country, the positioning of the British Crown as being “in charge” of Canada is so completely symbolic that it is effectively meaningless, said Christie.If Canada were to transition to a republic tomorrow, he said, these treaties would likely be honoured in the same way as before — when one government supplants another, they inherit the treaties and agreements their predecessor made.

What would need to happen if Canada were to become a republic, Christie said, is for consultation with Indigenous people to make sure the government upholds the treaties as they’re written — something Canadian courts have found Canada has failed to do numerous times.

“The courts have said that the treaties are very important documents, but the government itself has tried to minimize its obligations under the treaties,” Christie said. “What we want to do if we step into the shoes of the British Crown is now take an opportunity to go back to the treaties and implement them appropriately.”

But what most likely stands most in the way of Canada moving forward into a republic is apathy. Mia Mottley was able to move Barbados to a republic by sidestepping a referendum, despite the fact her party passed a bill in 2005 stating that one would be held — and that Mottley herself said that she was committed to giving “Barbadians the opportunity to make that judgment individually, as we promised to do.”

It was mostly likely a canny decision. Of the three most recent referendums on whether to keep a monarchical system, in Australia, Tuvalu and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, all saw a majority vote to retain their current system.

Barbados just got rid of the Queen — should Canada follow suit?
© Jackson Weaver/CBC Barbados President Sandra Mason, centre, stands with Prime Minister Mia Mottley, far left, and singer Rihanna, far right, at a ceremony in Golden Square Freedom Park in Bridgetown, Nov 30. Mason was sworn in as president earlier that day, transitioning the country to a republic.

And while many Canadians don’t want to see their constitutional monarchy continue indefinitely, few are motivated to see it change in the short term.

Dion and Vimla Beg, a Canadian couple living in Barbados, fall into that camp. While both have spent considerable time in both Australia and Canada, neither have strong views about the monarchy either way — or witnessed much interest from their peers.

For both, their parents and grandparents felt a strong connection to the monarchy. And though they don’t feel the same connection, changing things for Canada doesn’t feel worth it.

Barbados just got rid of the Queen — should Canada follow suit?
© Jackson Weaver/CBC Dion Beg, left, sits beside his wife, Vimla, and their children in their home in Barbados. Both Dion and Vimla said that — while the monarchy isn’t important to them — getting rid of it in Canada is more effort than its worth.

While Barbados’ shift was rooted in a repudiation of slavery that England enforced on the island for centuries, Canada’s would be more like a routine update — and that’s really not worth the effort required.

“It’s not something that’s necessarily important. It’s just something that’s there,” Vilma said.

“I just don’t understand the importance of these figureheads … from the English taxpayers perspective,” continued Dion. “[But] I think there are bigger problems to solve, right?”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Gameplay leaks point to Pokémon Legends: Arceus heavily featuring time travel

© Provided by Dot Esports Several copies of Pokémon Legends: Arceus have seemingly started making their appearance well ahead of its official Jan. 28 release date, and leaks have started ... Read more »

How to grind Champion Points in Elder Scrolls Online

© Provided by GamePur Once you’ve hit level 50, you will be glad to know that the journey isn’t quite over. Reaching Level 50 is only the first step in ... Read more »

Alan Shearer and Ian Wright slam 'really poor' Chelsea star in Brighton draw

© Provided by Metro Callum Hudson-Odoi struggled to make an impact in Chelsea’s draw with Brighton (Reuters) Alan Shearer and Ian Wright have both criticised Callum Hudson-Odoi for his performance ... Read more »

Berichte: Parteiinterne Rebellion gegen Johnson weitet sich aus

© KEYSTONE/AP/Ian Vogler Die parteiinterne Rebellion gegen den britischen Premierminister Boris Johnson nimmt Medienberichten zufolge Fahrt auf. Bis zu 20 Tory-Abgeordnete wollten am Mittwoch Misstrauensschreiben abgeben, schrieb der gut vernetzte ... Read more »

Tonga races to clear runway for volcano aid flights

© Provided by AFP Videos captured by Tongan geologists show a huge ash cloud rising over the island nation during a powerful volcanic eruption that caused a tsunami in the ... Read more »

LAPD identifies suspect in stabbing of UCLA grad student Brianna Kupfer

Police are searching for 31-year-old suspect Shawn Laval Smith, who is considered armed and dangerous and “highly likely to be using public transportation.” LAPD Los Angeles police identified the man ... Read more »

Pakistan's economic woes put PM Khan's future in doubt

© Asif HASSAN The rupee has taken a pounding, losing 12 percent to the dollar since July Housewife Maira Tayyab has considered begging for money to feed her family in ... Read more »

Hong Kong activist Edward Leung released from prison

© Provided by DW Edward Leung coined the now-banned slogan ‘Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times’ Prominent Hong Kong independence activist Edward Leung has been released after spending four ... Read more »

LAPD searches for a man who stabbed and killed a 24-year-old store employee

Los Angeles police have identified a suspect they’re looking for in the murder of a store employee Thursday in the city’s Hancock Park neighborhood. © Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Flowers were ... Read more »

Ash Barty shows ruthless side in second-round demolition job at Australian Open

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP As ever, Ash Barty the person was understated. And in customary style, Ash Barty the tennis player was ruthless. Another qualifier down, ... Read more »

Bruins retire Willie O'Ree's No. 22: 'Thrilled and overwhelmed' as NHL community, city of Boston light up for pioneer

Willie O’Ree made history in Boston once again on Tuesday night.  Before the puck dropped between the Bruins and Hurricanes, Boston celebrated the first black player to play in an NHL game. O’Ree’s No. 22, was ... Read more »

Islanders 4, Flyers 3 (SO): Wahlstrom ends 18-round shootout after Isles tie it late

In a streaming-only game, the New York Islanders did not play nearly as well tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers as they did last night. And for a little while, it ... Read more »

Pinoy Pride: Swiss luxury brand Bally names Fil-Am Rhuigi Villaseñor as creative director

Pandemic challenges aside, it seems that the year is shaping up to be the peak of Filipino talent and its ascent in the global scene. In the latest marriage between ... Read more »

US law enforcement officials aim to reassure Jewish community in wake of hostage standoff

Top Biden administration law enforcement officials — including the FBI director, the attorney general and the Homeland Security secretary — sought to reassure more than 1,000 members of the Orthodox ... Read more »

Taiwan VP to attend Honduras inauguration with diplomatic ties in balance

Taiwan will send its deputy leader to the inauguration of Honduran president-elect Xiomara Castro, it said Wednesday, as the democratic island faces the potential loss of yet another diplomatic ally ... Read more »

Four French soldiers injured in Burkina Faso bomb blast, says army

© Luc Gnago, Reuters Four French soldiers were wounded in an improvised explosive device blast in northern Burkina Faso, France‘s military told AFP Tuesday evening. “(Their) off-road vehicle activated an IED as ... Read more »

Banjo-Kazooie will join Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack on Jan. 20

© Provided by Dot Esports On Jan. 20, Nintendo Switch users are set to get another classic game available to play via virtual console, and it’s a title fans have ... Read more »

Hong Kong kung fu master intends to run in leadership election

© Reuters/Tyrone Siu Buildings are seen above Hong Kong and Chinese flags, as pro-China supporters celebration after China’s parliament passes national security law for Hong Kong, in Hong Kong By ... Read more »

Leaks suggest you will need to complete the entire Pokédex to capture Arceus in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

© Provided by Dot Esports Pokémon Legends: Arceus won’t release until Jan. 28 on the Nintendo Switch, but early screenshots and information about the game have begun leaking early due ... Read more »

Biden news – live: President to hold news conference as Trump lawyers subpoenaed

LIVE – Updated at 03:12 The White House is planning a Wednesday press conference for Joe Biden to promote his administration’s efforts to combat the Omicron surge and the greater ... Read more »

Konami begins to roll out Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel on available platforms

© Provided by GamePur Over the past few weeks, Konami has slowly dripped out news regarding Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, the free-to-play online game that is expected to be a big ... Read more »

How to start gearing for endgame content in Elder Scrolls Online

© Provided by GamePur Elder Scrolls Online is a unique MMO is many ways, but perhaps the most unique thing about it is the lack of vertical progression. Once you ... Read more »

Dominate Nurmagomedov, Call Out O'Malley

Cody Stamann will look to snap his two-fight losing streak this Saturday night (Jan. 22, 2022) when he takes on Said Nurmagomedov at UFC 270 in Anaheim, Calif. Following his ... Read more »

Will fans be allowed at the Australian Open 2022?

Tennis returns to Melbourne Park in 2022, with the Australian Open to host the world’s best players at the first Grand Slam of the year. Here is everything you need ... Read more »

Knicks lose crusher in Kemba Walker's return to fall below .500

Kemba Walker’s latest return to the Knicks’ lineup started quietly Tuesday night, but he and his teammates had the Garden rocking in the second half. Another home game only resulted ... Read more »

Alaska court weighs arguments over new election process

© Provided by Associated Press Former Alaska lawmaker Jason Grenn poses for a photo at his office in Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Grenn was a sponsor of ... Read more »

Ralf Rangnick makes Anthony Martial U-turn as Man Utd pair strike agreement

Manchester United forward Anthony Martial could have a shot at redemption after being included in Ralf Rangnick‘s squad to face Brentford. It comes after the forward spoke to the United ... Read more »

Biden administration to distribute millions of N95 masks from national stockpile

Biden has called wearing masks a “patriotic duty” for Americans. AP / Andrew Harnik The Biden administration will dip into a federal stockpile to distribute millions of free N95 masks ... Read more »

Marathon shootout win brings Islanders back to .500

PHILADELPHIA — Oliver Wahlstrom scored in the ninth round of the shootout Tuesday night and the Islanders beat the Flyers 4-3 to claw their back to .500 after more than ... Read more »

The 2020 election wasn't stolen. But Douglas Frank and his bogus equation claiming otherwise are still winning over audiences.

Douglas Frank, an Ohio math teacher, affixed his Texas flag print bow tie, led a booming rendition of the National Anthem and then walked a crowd through an absurd mathematical ... Read more »

NYPD cop and suspect both shot in the Bronx

The cop and suspect were taken to separate hospitals for their injuries. Christopher Sadowski An NYPD cop and a suspect were both shot in the Bronx on Tuesday night, police ... Read more »

Asia shares drop as Treasury yields hit fresh highs

By Daniel Leussink © Reuters/KIM KYUNG-HOON Ceremony marking the end of trading in 2021 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in Tokyo TOKYO (Reuters) – Asia’s share markets struggled on ... Read more »

UK PM aims to relax COVID rules amid threat to position

© Provided by Al Jazeera As many as 20 Conservatives elected at the last general election in 2019 plan to submit letters of no confidence in Johnson, according to the ... Read more »

'It's coming': Blues coach's stark Covid-19 warning for Super Rugby Pacific

Blues head coach Leon MacDonald has issued a blunt warning to his side, and Super Rugby Pacific as a whole, as the ever-present threat of Covid-19 continues to loom large. ... Read more »

'The new Sam Simmonds': England's latest ongoing selection snub stuns fans

Eddie Jones has named a 36-strong squad for the 2022 Guinness Six Nations which includes six uncapped players but the bold Australian head coach continued with his rebuilding of the ... Read more »

Spiess-Hegglin kämpft vor Gericht gegen Ringier um Gewinnherausgabe

© KEYSTONE/URS FLUEELER Die ehemalige Zuger Kantonsrätin Jolanda Spiess-Hegglin und das Medienhaus Ringier treffen sich heute Mittwoch vor dem Zuger Kantonsgericht. Beim Prozess fordert Spiess-Hegglin von Ringier die Herausgabe des ... Read more »

Man killed and several injured after bridge collapses in Lancashire

© PA police officers – PA A man has died and several others injured after a vehicle and trailer fell into a river when a bridge collapsed in Roeburndale, Lancashire, ... Read more »

Catriona Matthew among host of high achievers to be recognised with honours

Internationally-acclaimed golfer Catriona Matthew and former Scotland footballer Rose Reilly are among more than 100 people to be honoured at the Palace of Holyrood on Wednesday. The sports stars are ... Read more »

COVID-19 growth rate in many cities outside NCR Plus still accelerating —OCTA

Photo courtesy of Baguio PIO The one-week COVID-19 growth rate in highly urbanized cities (HUCs) outside of NCR Plus continues to accelerate, OCTA Research said Wednesday. “While growth rates have ... Read more »

Hong Kong kung fu master says intends to run in leadership election

© Reuters/Tyrone Siu Buildings are seen above Hong Kong and Chinese flags, as pro-China supporters celebration after China’s parliament passes national security law for Hong Kong, in Hong Kong By ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic