Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the steps of Rideau Cottage. (CPAC)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the steps of Rideau Cottage. (CPAC)

Now not the time to talk about breaking with the monarchy, Trudeau says

‘I’m focused on getting us through this pandemic and bringing our economy roaring back’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he’s not eager for a debate over the future of the monarchy in the wake of allegations of racism at Buckingham Palace.

Accusations from Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, that racism was the driving force behind their exit from royal duties and departure from Britain have set off a heated debate within the Commonwealth about future ties to the Queen.

“If people want to later talk about constitutional change and shifting our system of government, that’s fine, and they can have those conversations,” Trudeau told reporters Tuesday,

“But right now, I’m not having those conversations. I’m focused on getting us through this pandemic and bringing our economy roaring back.”

Trudeau said Canada still has work to do to eliminate discrimination and systemic racism in its institutions, but that’s doesn’t mean casting them aside and starting from scratch.

Both the NDP and Bloc Quebecois leaders say the allegations are further proof the monarchy is no longer relevant to everyday Canadians and should be abolished.

“I don’t see that the benefit of the monarchy in Canadians’ lives,” Singh said.

“Now, even more so, with concerns about racism in the institution that were raised and pressures that were placed on Meghan Markle, just again highlight that exists at that institution and that is also horrible.”

VIDEO: Revealing Harry, Meghan interview reverberates across U.K.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday, the couple alleged that questions about what skin colour their children would have and a failure by the “institution” to push back against racist coverage in the British press ultimately led them to conclude they had to make a break.

For a time, the duo lived in Canada but when it became clear no security was going to be offered to keep them safe and the borders were about to slam shut around the world due to the pandemic, they decided to move to the United States.

The Liberals are still working on replacing the Queen’s representative in Canada, the governor general, after Julie Payette resigned earlier this year following revelations of a toxic workplace at Rideau Hall.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc said while he’d hoped to have nailed down a process for choosing a successor to Payette a couple of weeks ago, the final pieces are now being put into place and should be unveiled imminently.

He too refused to comment on the situation now faced by the Queen, also saying he hadn’t watched the interview.

RELATED: Buckingham Palace’s silence on Harry, Meghan allegations adds to furor

Justin TrudeauRoyal family

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Red dresses to be hung from Ladysmith to Oyster Bay, showing solidarity against racism

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

Volunteers tend to White Rock’s waterfront native plant demonstration garden, during a work party Saturday (May 5). (Contributed photo)
Ready your gardens, the pollinators are coming

By R. Quinlan With the arrival of Spring, this year has more… Continue reading

Bruce Whittington making a founding gift to the Ladysmith Community Foundation Fund, presented to then Nanaimo Foundation Board Chair, Ted Carson. (Submitted photo)
New Ladysmith Community Fund set up to support local charities

The fund will be managed by the Nanaimo Foundation and all funds will remain in Ladysmith

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

‘For Sale’ signs quickly turned to ‘Sold’ signs as record-high demand for housing meets record-low inventory. (Cole Schisler photo)
Multiple offers and unconditional sales rampant in Ladysmith housing market

Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Zone 3 director Susan Perrey says the market is ‘crazy all around’

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Nanaimo flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

Most Read