It has been a couple weeks and I still can’t get this out of my head.
I was going to write something quite venomous on Canada Day about the queen’s characterization of Canada, but decided to let it slide. But I can’t:
The Queen said she has witnessed more than half of Canada’s national history and praised what Canada stands for.
“This nation has dedicated itself to being a caring home for its own, a sanctuary for others and an example to the world,” she said.
It wouldn’t have been so annoying if Canada Day weren’t just days after our constitutions was suspended by the security on acid in Toronto last month.
I’m no monarchist, but this is just gratuitous. I won’t suggest the queen is deluded about the underbelly of Canada. Her job as the hands-off head of state means she has no place commenting on our controversial issues. She’s a cheerleader and a sanctioner of paradigms.
Well, she’s the Queen of the British Empire, no friend to egalitarianism, social justice or political liberty. Not that she’s a shill for authoritarianism, she’s a symbol of it.
So when she says that we are a caring home for our own, our increasing socio-economic disparities disagree with that, as do the hundreds locked up in Toronto.
When she says we are a sanctuary for others, we need to see if the citizens who generally support providing refuge for American deserters from the Iraq invasion and occupation will insist the government actually permit them to stay.
When she says we are an example to the world, she is absolutely right. We are an example of G8 and G20 leadership. An example of the proper way of putting neoliberal corporate interests in the highest of places in a nation. An example of how the world ought to behave when the masters are in town.
In short, we are an example of a middle power bowing down to the new world order. Democracy, rights, freedom, social justice, economic policies that work for people not global corporate interests are the enemy of the great sucking sound of the rich getting richer and the rest of us seeing dissent and free speech criminalized.
So on our road to reclaiming Canada, let’s dump the monarchy. Because in the end, when the queen says she’s witnessed more than half our nation’s history, she knows what she’s talking about.
And I don’t want to hear from the likes of her anymore.