Preparations are now in high gear for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City next summer.
The Pope has been invited. So has the President of France. And the heads of every two-bit French colony on the planet are expected. Everyone except Canada’s head of state, the Queen.
In fact both the city of Quebec and the Quebec government asked the federal government to invite the Queen for this event of major national significance. And the Harper government has turned them down flat.
Why? Is Harper afraid he would lose votes in Quebec if he invited the Queen. Or does Harper think he is protecting the Queen from a boorish separatist fringe by keeping her out?
If so, Quebec minister Benoit Pelletier has the answer for that: “We know there would be controversy if the Queen came to Quebec. But this controversy would be provoked by a minority of people, and we can’t be at the mercy of these minorities.”
By not inviting her to Quebec, Harper is also keeping the Queen away from Nova Scotia which this summer is celebrating its 250th anniversary of representative government, a commemoration important not only to that province but to the entire Commonwealth.
Surely our national government shouldn’t quake at the thought of a rag-tag bunch of separatists upsetting things. This snub is all the more ludicrous when you realize the American government invited the Queen to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown colony earlier this year.
Would you agree this is a snub to the monarchy?
Do you think the Queen should still be invited to Quebec?