(OTTAWA) For a second day in a row, the Bloc Québécois tried on Tuesday to take advantage of the coronation of King Charles III to try to rekindle the debate on the monarchy in Canada.
“It’s a shame,” Bloc justice critic Rhéal Fortin said during question period in reference to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to travel to London for the royal event.
Speaking in the House, Mr. Fortin attacked the credibility of claims made the day before by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, that the monarchy is not a priority for the government and Canadians.
“It’s such a low priority that the Liberals put recognition of King Charles III in the budget. The budget ! So not a priority that the Prime Minister will leave his party’s convention to go to the coronation of the King of Canada, his king. He could have sent someone else – a minister perhaps in his place – but bowing down to the king is his priority. »
Mr. Trudeau will be in the United Kingdom in the coming days to attend, on Saturday, alongside dignitaries from around the world, the coronation of the 74-year-old monarch at Westminster Abbey.
According to the Bloc MP, the coronation is one of the rare occasions with the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the patriation of the Constitution to debate severing Canada’s link with the British monarchy.
Minister Rodriguez, who simultaneously serves as Justin Trudeau’s lieutenant for Quebec, replied thus: “They are really something of the ‘gang’ of the Bloc. They get up in the morning, they brush their teeth, then they start thinking about the monarchy. »
In a second question, which was not a question, Mr. Fortin argued that the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the Australian Ambassador in London both said they wanted their country to become a republic.
“England is on the verge of getting rid of her king before the rest of us,” he quipped. Yet the majority of Canadians, the people of Quebec and Canada, want to sever ties with the crown. In this House, apart from the Bloc, everyone is monarchists, it seems. »
However, replied Mr. Rodriguez, it is in fact that the federal elected representatives of the other parties want to talk about “the economy, social programs […], how to invest in our country, how to attract businesses, how to help our seniors, how how to use our students, how to help our families, how to help our young people”.
Last fall, the Bloc Québécois forced a vote in the House of Commons on a motion that proposed to cut the cord between Canada and the British monarchy.
The proposal was rejected since the Conservatives, the bulk of the Liberals and part of the New Democrats voted against, believing that there are other priority subjects.