One in five Canadians think the Queen should stay home: Poll

ALTHIA RAJ, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 8:41 PM ET

OTTAWA — A majority of Canadians have little interest in the Queen’s visit to Canada next month, a poll by Leger Marketing for QMI Agency suggests.

While 39% of Canadians said they welcomed Queen Elizabeth II’s visit, 59% of online respondents said they have little or no interest in Her Majesty’s trip.

One fifth of those surveyed said the Queen should not come and it was time for Canada to severe its ties with the British Crown.

In Quebec, 45% of respondents said the Queen was not welcomed while only 11% said they enjoyed Canada’s historical ties with the British Crown.

“The monarchy is outdated,” said Bloc Quebecois MP Claude DeBellefeuille. “The Queen is a symbol Quebecers don’t identify at all with, and I think the umbilical cord with the monarchy should have been cut a long time ago already.”

Such sentiment may explain why Her Majesty and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, won’t visit Quebec during their nine-day royal visit beginning June 28. The Queen last toured the province extensively in 1990.

Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro, parliamentary secretary to Heritage Minister James Moore, said the Queen has been warmly greeted in the past in La Belle Province and this time was visiting different parts the country.

“I think that when she visits Canada, she demonstrates that those ties that bind us are enduring and that Canada and Canadians remain very close to the hearts of people in the UK and to the royal family,” he said.

Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay said she has tremendous amount of respect for the Queen but has “some issues with authority devolving by bloodline only” and believes strongly in meritocracy.

“I think we are going to see a greater distancing from the Monarchy in England over time,” she said.

The Leger poll suggests only 32% of 18 to 34 year-olds feel a strong connection to the Crown while 46% of people age 65 and above reported an attachment.

The survey showed support for the Queen was stronger in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario while numbers dropped significantly in the Atlantic provinces.

The Monarchist League of Canada’s spokesman Robert Finch hopes the Queen’s visit will help cement affection for the Crown.

The greatest threat to the British monarchy is not republicanism, Finch said, “It is indifference.”

The Leger online survey of 1,547 Canadians was conducted May 25-27 and approximates a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.


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