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How should this change unfold?
The Canadian government should initiate a formal national conversation about ending this country’s constitutional relationship with the Royal Family. It could strike a House of Commons sub-committee on the issue. It could convene a blue-ribbon panel of experts or announce a special task force or commission. It could invite first ministers and Indigenous leaders from across the country to at least kick-start high-level discussions and approve a plan for study, consultation and possible reform.
The exact mechanism doesn’t really matter. And monarchists wedded to our existing, dusty constitutional arrangement, republicans envious of the American presidential system and everyone in between should be invited to advance their case for the ideal shape of Canada’s governing structure.
That’s only fair. And experts highlighting the complexities of finally unbuckling ourselves from British royalty — including the implications for Indigenous nations, who have a special relationship with the Crown going back centuries — should be heard.
But the best path forward for the country would be a system virtually identical to the present one — minus the monarch. Snipping the now-tenuous link that remains between Canada and the regal figure residing in Buckingham Palace would only mean that the present vice-regal representative at Rideau Hall would become the country’s sole constitutional figurehead.
We’re more than ready for that.
Randy Boswell is a Carleton University journalism professor and former national writer with Postmedia News. He has previously argued in favour of maintaining the monarchy in Canada.