A few weeks ago, Northerners were graced with a visit from two of the top-ranked human beings alive. Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla of Cornwall took a whirlwind tour of the North, briefly stopping in Nunavut and Yellowknife.

There were many reasons for the tour, including damage control after a series of scandals rocked the House of Windsor, but perhaps the most important was so Canadians could get a glimpse of their future king and symbolic head of state.

Under Canadian law, the only member of the royal family to have any sort of official power is the Crown itself — that being Queen Elizabeth, whose resilience throughout the ages has greatly endeared her to Canadians. No other royals technically pull any weight here.

However, also under Canadian law, the moment she leaves this mortal coil, Charles will be our king, by default.

This may not be a popular opinion in a region of the country where ‘God Save the Queen’ is still played at public ceremonies, but when the time comes for the royal sceptre to change hands, Canada should follow the example made by other Commonwealth nations and make a clean break from the House of Windsor. Keeping the British monarch on our money makes for great nostalgia for those who benefit from colonialism, but for Canadians hailing from places other than the United Kingdom, it’s largely irrelevant. And for many more Canadians, it’s very likely traumatic.

The British monarchy isn’t just a relic of colonialism — it is colonialism incarnate. The pomp, wealth and glamour displayed by the royals and adored by their watchers the world over was built on the bodies of the fallen defenders of Turtle Island, Africa, Australia and Asia. Everywhere they went, the same legacy: widespread addictions, in some cases forced upon the conquered such as the opium wars, in addition to lost languages and knowledge.

It would be a tremendous display of reconciliation and goodwill for Canada to relinquish its ties to the old country and replace it with something actually Canadian.

Now, I’m not proposing we shift to a sterile democratic republic, like our neighbour southward. The United States example shows more elected branches of government creates more room for lobbying and corruption with no benefit to voters themselves.

Instead, I propose we have a rotating Canadian Royal Family for our symbolic head of state.

Here’s how it would work: all taxpayers in good standing would be entered into a lottery and the winner would be declared king, queen or sovereign of Canada for seven years, effectively replacing the governor general position. When the term is up or should the monarch resign, another royal family would be drawn. This would keep politics out of the selection and ensure the position is accessible to all Canadians, not simply the overachievers who happen to impress the prime minister of the day — with due respect to our current GG, Mary Simon, who by all accounts is doing an excellent job.

However, I’m sure she would agree representation matters and more Canadians can likely relate to Meghan Markle’s struggles with racism than Kate Middleton’s love of ‘Anne of Green Gables.’ Having a symbolic head of state who could be any race, colour, creed or ideology would symbolize Canada is truly a nation of its peoples and not just another vassal state.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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  1. I think we have bigger fish to cry than spending energy on the topic of our head of state.
    We should really discuss things on how to lower cost for the middle class and repair our divided nation. This nonsense blabber just makes people sick and tired of reading propaganda going forward