OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to London with a delegation that includes Inuit and Indigenous leaders, superstar youth and a Canadian astronaut who’s heading to the moon.
Canada couldn’t care less.
Actually, it’s worse than that. A majority of Canadians in every region would actually vote to eliminate the monarchy, according to timely new polling from Abacus Data, In Quebec, where provincial lawmakers recently abolished an obligatory oath to the king, that number is 82 percent.
Pollster David Coletto says the results should not be a surprise — any goodwill toward the monarchy was exclusive to Queen Elizabeth II, affection that is not transferable.
“With her passing, that reason to show any respect for the institution is gone,” Coletto told POLITICO. “Canada has changed a lot in the past 20 years. Generational change and immigration from non-European countries means the monarchy is so much less relevant.”
Canada’s national television networks will start broadcasting at 4 a.m. EDT on coronation day. Only 4 percent of Canadians say they’ll be following closely, Coletto said.
Eighty percent of respondents to a Léger poll in March said they’re not “personally attached” to the monarchy.
More than 50 percent of Canadians told the Angus Reid Institute last month that they believe King Charles will fall short. “He has big brooches to fill,” the pollster quipped.
The signs were showing last year at this time when Charles and his wife, Camilla, toured Canada to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The trip lasted just about 72 hours.
“It’s actually embarrassing,” John Fraser, founder of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada, told CBC News. “It would have been nice if the federal government had actually shown some interest.”
Trudeau said at the time that Canadians were too busy to worry about the status of the monarchy in Canada. “When I hear from Canadians about the things they’re preoccupied about … it’s not about constitutional change.”
Asked last week for his thoughts, the prime minister repeated that now is not the time for change.
“There are obviously a number of people who feel that a different system would serve us better,” he said. “Those people can make those arguments but what those people can’t do is agree on what alternative would be better.”
In Ottawa on Saturday, there are plans for an hour-long ceremony featuring a slam poet, a youth choir and the Algonquin group Eagle River Singers.
Unlike June 2, 1953, it won’t be a national holiday.
On the day of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, 100,000 people celebrated on Parliament Hill. There were military tattoos, horse races, parades and fireworks.
This weekend in Canada’s capital, the Peace Tower and other federal buildings around town will be lit up in emerald green. Canada Post will issue a new stamp.
Coletto will be up at the crack of dawn on Saturday — just not for the king. “I’d rather be riding my bike,” he said, “especially given how nice it’s going to be.”