Today, the third Monday in May, is officially slated as Victoria Day. This has been the case since 1845 when the birthday of Queen Victoria was celebrated. Since then, it is used in England to celebrate the reigning monarch, no matter when they were actually born. In this sense, it is an out-dated practice which Quebeckers had the good sense to name Patriot’s Day to celebrate the rebellion against British rule in 1837-38. For Ontarians, it marks the beginning of good weather. Before climate change, when weather was more predictable, it used to mean that the ground was no longer frozen so planting could start and also that plants would no longer be subject to frosts.
But the fact remains that Canada’s institutions are tied to an anachronistic system. The recent visit to Canada of the so-called heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles was, in fact, to celebrate the jubilee platinum anniversary of the Queen’s reign. Pictures of her jubilee celebrations in England featured the more than £1000 gowns worn by members of the Royal Household as it is called – a reminder that those who rule over the people definitely live in another world that has nothing to do with the majority except for the fact that they carry its burden on their backs – a burden we must break with in order to renew the democracy in Canada so that it is set by the people and favours their interests, not the interests of the likes of the “Royals” and their retinues comprised of the party governments that keep them going.
Page photo: Statue of Queen Victoria, symbol of colonial rule, toppled in front of Manitoba legislature during Cancel Canada Day action, July 1, 2021.