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Canadian support for royals may have slumped, but the scenes in London tell a different story



Support for the monarchy is at its lowest point in a generation as Canadians continue to digest the passing last September of the long-reigning Queen Elizabeth and weigh the institution’s future with King Charles on the throne.

But the sizable Canadian contingent at the King’s coronation in London on Saturday suggests there are still many faithful followers of the thousand year-old institution.

Some Canadian revellers camped out for days to catch a glimpse of the country’s new head of state and Queen Camilla.

Daniel Guenther of Winnipeg was part of a “coronation tour” with 30 other Canadian monarchists. The group travelled throughout the U.K. over the past week, with the coronation the most important stop.


“I just felt it was a wonderful opportunity to come over here and represent Canada on the ground. It was so heart-warming to see so many Canadians — it was a large contingent, walking around, exchanging pins, sharing a moment,” he said.

“Anecdotally, I would say this was the largest contingent outside the U.K. There were just a ton of Canadian flags out there,” Guenther said.

Daniel Guenther of Winnipeg is shown in London holding the official program for King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation service. He travelled with 30 other Canadian monarchists. (Submitted by Daniel Guenther)

Asked why he made the trek and paid handsomely for the travel, Guenther said he wanted to support the King — a man who most Canadians don’t know well, he said.

Guenther said Charles’s comparatively poor poll numbers can turn around in time.

“There’s been some discussion about the future of the monarchy, but just seeing the number of Canadians here who were engaged — and looking at supportive messages from people back home — I think it’s been understated just how excited people are for this,” he said.

“It’s going to take time for Canadians to get to know King Charles, and when they do, I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised.”


King Charles’s deep ties to Canada

Britain’s new monarch King Charles has deep ties to Canada, forging connections with some Canadians through his charitable work and outreach during his many visits to the country.

‘Once-in-a-generation thing to do’

The Canadian presence was particularly strong in the viewing areas in Hyde Park — an overflow area to accommodate the crushing crowds who couldn’t find a spot along the coronation procession route.

Those Canadians who were lucky enough to witness the gilded carriage as it rolled through central London saw dozens of Canadian Armed Forces personnel and the RCMP Musical Ride usher King Charles and Queen Camilla from their investiture at Westminster Abbey.

The RCMP recently gave the King a mare, Noble. He’ll ride the horse during Trooping the Colour, an annual celebration to mark the monarch’s birthday — continuing a long-standing tradition of Canadian equine gifts to the sovereign.

King Charles is pictured with a horse gifted to him by the RCMP.
King Charles, centre, is flanked by Ralph Goodale, left, Canada’s High Commissioner to the U.K., and RCMP Commissioner Mike Duheme after Charles was officially presented with Noble, a horse given to him by the Mounties, at Windsor Castle on April 28. (Andrew Matthew/Pool/The Associated Press)

Jessica and Andrew Matthews of Toronto were among those who braved the wet London weather on Saturday to witness history.

“Our little guy is six months old. We’re going to be able to tell him and future generations that we were here — that’s just amazing,” Jessica said.

“And when I saw the Mounties, I just burst out into cheers and clapped.”

Andrew said it’s a “once-in-a-generation thing to do,” and they wouldn’t think about missing the event. The couple said they didn’t expect to see so many fellow Canadians in the crowd.

Canadian Bill Powell is picture in front of a flag-adorned tent in London.
Canadian Bill Powell camps out along The Mall in London during coronation festivities on Saturday. Some Canadian revellers camped out for days. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Canada’s military contingent was notably smaller than what was on display at the Queen’s coronation 70 years ago, when 700 Canadian service members were present.

But Canada’s military display this time was still one of the largest among the Commonwealth realms in Charles’s purposely scaled-down version of the event.

Canadian flag prominent in London

The prime spot to view Charles and Camilla, as they stood on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the ceremony, was appropriately named Canada Gate.

The flags along The Mall — the street that leads to that storied residence — also reveal Canada’s prime position in the Commonwealth. The maple leaf flies second only to the Union Jack — a testament to the country’s long-standing ties to the Crown.

The Canadian flag also held a prominent position in Westminster Abbey — directly across from Charles in the church nave as he took his oath to serve.

People line up and camp out along the mall waiting for the coronation of King Charles in London.
A Canadian flag is displayed along The Mall in London, as people wait to catch a glimpse of King Charles and Queen Camilla. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Canada is a senior member of the Commonwealth — the group of mostly former British colonies that was first led by a Canadian, Arnold Smith — and it’s also a country where the republican movement is comparatively quiet.

Unlike in Australia, for example — where there’s already been a failed referendum on the royals, and the prime minister is an avowed anti-monarchist — Canada has so far avoided a serious conversation about a future without the monarchy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, an admirer of the late Queen who is ideologically in sync with the climate-focused King, has repeatedly said he’s unwilling to engage in protracted constitutional talks to end Canada’s ties with the royals.

Monarchists are pictured in London.
Canadian monarchists on a coronation tour paid tribute to George VI and the late Queen Mother, sang the national anthem and unfurled a giant Canadian flag in London. (Submitted by Monarchist League of Canada)

It’s unlikely all provinces, along with the House of Commons and Senate, will agree to remove the sovereign any time soon — if ever.

That constitutional reality has prompted the federal Liberal government to put King Charles in a new light.

The Canadian delegation at Saturday’s celebration reflected the image the government wants to project when people think of the monarch. There were Indigenous leaders, a large youth delegation, climate activists, scientists and an astronaut — Jeremy Hansen, who’s headed to the moon with the Artemis II mission.


King Charles won’t be known as ‘defender of the faith.’ Does it matter?


King Charles will have a new title in Canada now that the government has dropped “defender of the faith” — part of a push to redefine the head of state’s role.

Under Trudeau, Canada has also dropped the “defender of the faith” position from Charles’s Canadian title — a signal that, unlike in the U.K., the head of state is strictly secular in Canada’s religiously diverse country.

“The issues that matter most to Charles, they resonate with Canadians,” Winnipeg’s Daniel Guenther said. “Environmental sustainability, historical preservation, Indigenous reconciliation — those are issues that are at the forefront at home. There’s a total overlap.”

He said this year’s event was “quite a different coronation” than the one staged for Queen Elizabeth in 1953.

The inclusion of different faith leaders in the church service, the presence of Indigenous groups and a selection of racially and ethnically diverse performers shows that the “world has really changed and the monarchy is willing to change with that,” Guenther said.



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Samantha Bee talks politics and comedy at TVO Today Live in Ottawa – Financial Post



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Register now for the June 11 conversation with Steve Paikin of The Agenda

Toronto, Ontario, June 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On Sunday, June 11, 2023, TVO Today Live is heading to Ottawa for a special on-stage conversation with the renowned comedian Samantha Bee. She has earned an international following as the host of Full Frontal and a correspondent on The Daily Show. In what promises to be a memorable event, Bee with discuss the pivotal role late-night comedians play in politics.


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The free public event will take place at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. Steve Paikin of TVO Today’s The Agenda will lead a discussion on Bee’s comedy, career and the unique political moment happening now in Canada and the United States. Eventbrite registration for this event has nearly sold out.

“Samantha Bee is rightly renowned as an Emmy-winning comedian,” says John Ferri, VP of Programming and Content at TVO. “But like all great satirists, her work is anchored in an astute understanding of culture and politics. In her case, that understanding encompasses both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.”

TVO will broadcast a recording of this conversation on Thursday, June 15 at 9 pm ET and it will also be available on The Agenda’s YouTube channel earlier the same day. Visit the TVO Today Live series page to get the latest information and sign up for email updates.

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TVO Today Live is made possible through generous support from The Wilson Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen and enrich Canada in education leadership, community, history and heritage, and public service. Events take place in communities across the province and feature conversations with community leaders and experts to inspire civic engagement.

Politics & Punchlines: A Conversation with Samantha Bee
Sunday, June 11, 2023
Doors: 4:30 pm 
Event begins: 5 pm
Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre
290 Lisgar Street
Ottawa, Ontario
RSVP: Eventbrite 

Media contact: Andrea MacBeth 

– 30 –

TVO Media Education Group inspires learning that changes lives and enriches communities. Founded in 1970, we are a globally recognized digital learning organization that engages Ontarians of all ages with inclusive experiences and diverse perspectives. Through video, audio, games, courses, newsletters and articles, we’re investing in the transformative potential of education for everyone. Funded primarily by the Province of Ontario, TVO is a registered charity supported by thousands of sponsors and donors. For more information, visit, and

Stream TVO on your favourite device.
Sign up to receive TVO media releases by email.

Media contact:

Andrea MacBeth
Director, Corporate Communications


Twitter: @TheAgenda 
Facebook: @TheAgenda 
Instagram: @TheAgendaTVO 
YouTube: @TheAgenda

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Canada human-rights activist still detained in China; talks frozen – CTV News




A leader of the fight to secure freedom for a Canadian human-rights activist detained in China for 17 years is taking the latest diplomatic deep-freeze between Ottawa and Beijing in stride.

Wilf Ruland, a volunteer fieldworker with Amnesty International Canada, says a sustained, long-term campaign aims to keep Huseyin Celil’s case in the public eye and in the minds of Canadian and Chinese authorities.


“Throughout the history of this case, there’s been geopolitical ups and downs, but we figure our job is just to keep Canadian government officials’ attention focused on the case and keep them working on it,” Ruland said in an interview.

Celil, originally from China, fled the country in 2001 after being jailed for supporting the religious and political rights of the Uyghur minority.

Celil, his wife Kamila Telendibaeva and their son settled in Canada that year. They had two more boys and Celil became a Canadian in 2005. The following year, the family went to Uzbekistan to visit Telendibaeva’s family while she was expecting a fourth child.

According to Amnesty International, the police in China discovered Celil was in Uzbekistan and asked the Uzbek police to arrest him. He was sent to China, where authorities accused him of offences related to his support of Uyghur rights.

“He was not given access to a lawyer, his family or Canadian officials. The Chinese authorities threatened and tortured him and forced him to sign a confession,” Amnesty says.

“They refused to recognize Huseyin’s status as a Canadian citizen, and they did not allow Canadian officials to attend his trial. The trial was not conducted fairly, and he was sentenced to life in prison in China, where he remains today.”

The Canadian government has expressed concern about the repression of Uyghurs and other minorities by Chinese authorities on the basis of their religion and ethnicity, under the pretext of countering terrorism and religious extremism.

Until at least late 2016, Celil was being held in Xinjiang Number One Prison in Urumqi, capital of China’s Xinjiang region, Ruland said.

His mother and sister, who live in China, would occasionally make a train journey to visit him and then relay word to his wife in Burlington, Ont., Ruland said. But she has not heard anything since late 2016.

In September 2021, Telendibaeva said while she was happy to see high-profile Canadian detainees Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig freed from Chinese jails, she was frustrated that Ottawa could not also liberate her husband.

A recent petition from concerned Canadians, presented to the House of Commons by Conservative MP Garnett Genuis, called on Ottawa to appoint a special envoy to work on securing Celil’s release. It also urged the government to seek the assistance of the United States and other allies toward that goal.

In a statement, the government said it continues to be deeply concerned with his detention.

“Canada has repeatedly raised Mr. Celil’s case with the government of China at the highest levels, and will continue to do so,” the response said.

“While privacy considerations prevent the sharing of details, the government of Canada remains actively engaged in his case.”

Ottawa said it would also continue to seek access to Celil to “verify his well-being.”

Accusations of interference by China in Canadian political affairs have further tested already strained relations between the countries, prompting diplomatic expulsions by both sides.

Ruland said diplomatic friction is beyond Amnesty’s control, adding that the resolution of Celil’s case could even be a bridge to re-establishing a better rapport with China.

Ruland, who recently began a campaign to petition the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa with postcards on behalf of Celil, said public support and attention are crucial.

“It’s the lifeblood of Amnesty International’s work,” he said. “It’s the public support that makes all the difference in getting governments to act.”


This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2023.

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Federal Politics: As inflation fight inflicts pain on the nation, one-third of 2021 Liberals look elsewhere for relief – Angus Reid Institute



Conservatives hold eight-point advantage in vote intention (37 CPC, 29 Liberal, 20 NDP)

June 8, 2023 – The Bank of Canada raised its touchstone interest rate 25 basis points to 4.75 per cent this week, the first such hike since January, returning the cost of borrowing to a level not seen in more than 20 years.

The latest increase, made in an ongoing attempt to curb persistent inflation, is bad news for both mortgage holders and renters, and new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute also reveals the amount of damage it has been doing to the governing Liberals politically.


This latest public opinion survey finds overwhelming concern among Canadians over the cost of living now correlating with a loss of voter support for the ruling party, particularly among its own support-base. Past Liberal voters appear to be moving elsewhere in search of relief.

The central bank’s rate hike has been called a “a disaster for many Canadians” by Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, as he points the finger at government spending and budget deficits for causing the inflation that initiated the BoC’s response. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland countered that inflation is global in nature, and highlighted the strength of the Canadian economy overall.

Poilievre’s economic message appears to be resonating. Currently, 37 per cent of leaning and decided voters say they would vote for the Conservative candidate in their riding if an election were held, compared to 29 per cent support for the Liberals and 20 per cent for the NDP. Among those faring the worst financially – those “Struggling” on ARI’s Economic Stress Index – half (51%) would vote for the CPC while approximately one-third as many would vote for the Liberals (18%) or NDP (16%).

These economic concerns appear to be driving a dissatisfaction with the incumbent Liberals among its own party supporters. Among those who supported the LPC in 2021 41 per cent of the Struggling would not commit to supporting the party again, alongside 44 per cent of the Uncomfortable.

The overall trend for the Liberals is likely disconcerting to party strategists. In late 2021, after the party had succeeded in winning a minority government, 80 per cent of Liberal voters said they would support the party again if an election were held. This dropped to 72 per cent by the end of 2022 and has dropped to 67 per cent overall this month. Perhaps softening this blow, however, is the fact that the largest portion of these former Liberal supporters say they would vote for the NDP (15%), who have been supporting the minority Liberal government with a confidence-and-supply agreement since the last election.

Meantime, the opposition Conservatives retain much of their 2021 support, with 84 per cent of voters voicing an intention to return to the fold. The party’s overall vote intention proportion is largely unchanged over the past 16 months, hovering between 35 and 37 per cent nationally.

More Key Findings:

  • Cost of living is the top issue chosen by 63 per cent of Canadians. Next is health care, chosen by almost half (46%), followed by housing affordability (30%) and climate change (25%).
  • Ontario remains competitive between the Liberals and Conservatives. Two-in-five Ontarians (38%) say they would support the CPC if an election were held, while 35 per cent would vote for the Liberals.
  • Vancouver and Winnipeg are dead heats, with a near exact number of residents in both saying they would support the CPC, Liberals, and NDP in an election (all receive between 30 and 32 per cent vote intention).
  • The Liberals maintain an advantage in the Toronto core (42% LPC, 23% CPC), but are statistically tied with the opposition CPC in the surrounding suburban areas of the 905 (41% LPC, 39% CPC).

About ARI

The Angus Reid Institute (ARI) was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist, Dr. Angus Reid. ARI is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to advance education by commissioning, conducting and disseminating to the public accessible and impartial statistical data, research and policy analysis on economics, political science, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and international affairs and other socio-economic issues of importance to Canada and its world.

Note: Because its small population precludes drawing discrete samples over multiple waves, data on Prince Edward Island is not released.


Part One: Top issues

Part Two: Economic stress and vote intention

  • Liberal vote retention slides

Part Three: Vote intention

  • Vote by Economic Stress Index

  • Vote by region

  • Vote by age and gender

Part One: Top issues

There are three weeks left of sittings in the House of Commons until summer recess and the Liberal government has yet to pass its budget bill. The Conservative opposition, led by Pierre Poilievre, is threatening to block the budget by introducing hundreds of amendments and filibustering unless the Liberal government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets its demands – halting increases to the carbon tax and setting out a plan to balance the budget.

Poilievre says Canadians “cannot afford” any additional increases to the carbon tax, which will affect the prices of gas, heat and groceries. He also says inflation, a persistent issue since the relaxation of public health restrictions beginning in early 2022, is being driven by government spending and debt. The Bank of Canada argues inflation is being caused by spikes in commodity prices, a surge in demand, impaired supply chains, and labour shortages as it hiked its key policy rate again this week.

Related: Economic Outlook: Burdened by debt and rising housing costs, three-in-ten Canadians ‘struggling’ to get by

Amid these ongoing fiscal challenges, a majority (63%) of Canadians believe the rising cost of living to be one of the top issues facing the country. This issue far outpaces health care (46%), housing affordability (30%) and the environment (25%) as a top concern.

This holds true across the country, as the rising cost of living is the top issue selected in every province. From B.C. to Newfoundland and Labrador, at least three-in-five and as many as three-quarters believe inflation is one of the country’s top challenges:

Cost of living is selected as the top issue facing the country by men and women of all ages – except women over the age of 54. Men, meanwhile, are more likely to be preoccupied with government spending and the deficit (see detailed tables for the full list of issues).

At least half of all age groups believe cost of living is a top issue facing the country. There is more disagreement on the issues of health care – which older Canadians are more likely to choose – and housing affordability – selected more commonly by younger Canadians. On the issue of government spending, Canadians over the age of 65 are twice as likely to care about it (17%) than those aged 18 to 24 (8%, see detailed tables).

In January 2022, the Angus Reid Institute created the Economic Stress Index to measure the financial pressure facing Canadians. It assesses factors such as Canadians’ household costs, debt, and self-financial appraisals. The index finds three-in-ten (30%) Canadians to be “Struggling” financially, one-quarter (23%) “Uncomfortable”, one-quarter (26%) “Comfortable”, and one-in-five (21%) “Thriving” (see detailed tables).

For those who are Struggling or Uncomfortable in terms of their economic stress level, cost of living rises to even greater prominence, chosen by seven-in-ten among each group. Health care and climate change are both higher priorities for those who are Thriving compared to other groups:

Part Two: Economic stress and vote intention

Liberal vote retention slides

To fight inflation, the Bank of Canada began a series of interest rate hikes beginning in March 2022. While these increases in the cost of borrowing have had the desired effect of slowing inflation – more or less – it has also put pressure on mortgage holders and many other Canadians holding consumer debt. Renters, too, have felt the pressure, as their landlords have passed on their own increased borrowing costs.

Related: Economic Outlook: Burdened by debt and rising housing costs, three-in-ten Canadians ‘struggling’ to get by

After taking a pause for two rate cycles, the Bank of Canada hiked its key policy rate again this week, further increasing the cost of borrowing as the bank continues to attempt to bring inflation in line with its two per cent target. It also signalled that more rate hikes may be coming, a worrying sign for Canadians already struggling with their mortgage payments, credit card balances and other consumer debts.

These financial pressures come into play when it comes to Canadians assessments of the current federal government, and whether or not past supporters of the governing Liberal party would vote for them again now.

Past Liberal voters are much more likely to endorse the party again if they are in a better financial situation. Three-quarters (74%) of those who voted Liberal in 2021 and are Thriving financially say they would vote again for the Liberals. This falls to below three-in-five among the Struggling (59%) and Uncomfortable (56%).

Overall, two-thirds (67%) of those who voted Liberal in 2021 say they would vote Liberal again if there were an election today. Of the one-third who say they would place their vote elsewhere, half (15%) say they would vote NDP, while equal proportions would vote CPC (5%) or another party (6%). Approaching one-in-ten (7%) say they are undecided how they would vote:

Since the 2021 federal election, Liberal voter retention has been steadily declining. While the NDP have benefitted the most from this movement away from the governing party, there is an increase in the number of past Liberal voters who say they would vote CPC or another party, and among those who aren’t sure:

Compared to the Liberals, the CPC boast a significant advantage in vote retention. Among those who supported the CPC in 2021, 84 per cent say they would vote for the party again. The New Democrats would retain 70 per cent support, while the Bloc Québécois retention rate is closer to the CPC level at 80 per cent.

Part Three: Vote intention

Since Poilievre has taken over the Conservative party leadership, the CPC have held a lead in vote intent. Two-in-five (37%) Canadians say they would vote Conservative if an election were held today. Three-in-ten (29%) say they would vote Liberal, while one-in-five (20%) would vote NDP. These figures have been consistent since September last year:

Vote by Economic Stress Index

Canada’s economic picture may be playing a significant factor as Canadians weigh where they would place their vote in a potential election. Poilievre’s messaging around inflation, and warnings around the effects of further carbon tax increases, appear to be resonating with Canadians who are under financial pressure. Half (51%) of the Struggling by the Economic Stress Index say they would CPC if an election were held. The CPC hold a lead, too, among those who are Uncomfortable. Meanwhile, a plurality of the Comfortable and the Thriving would vote for the governing Liberal party:

Vote by region

In three key battleground provinces, the Liberals trail in current vote intention. The CPC leads the NDP by 10 points in B.C., while holding a slight edge over the Liberals in Ontario. The Bloc Québécois are the preferred party of a plurality of Quebecers.

Elsewhere, the CPC hold the lead in all three prairie provinces, while the Liberals are tied for the lead in vote intention, or hold it outright, in three of the Atlantic provinces:

Canada’s major metropolitan centres are home to some astonishingly close races. Consider that in both Metro Vancouver and Winnipeg – within ARI’s boundary definitions, home to 22 federal ridings – almost exactly three-in-ten residents in each say they would vote for the CPC, Liberals or NDP. The Liberals maintain a key advantage in Toronto core, while tied with the CPC in the surrounding suburban 905 region:

Vote by age and gender

Men prefer the Conservatives by wide margins. Women aged 35 and older are the most likely to say they would vote Liberal if an election were held today. Two-in-five women aged 18 to 34 say they would vote NDP, the only demographic where the NDP hold a lead in vote intention:

Survey Methodology:

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from May 30 – June 3, 2023, among a representative randomized sample of 3,885 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.

For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here.

For detailed results by the Economic Stress Index, click here.

To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here

To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.

Image – Pierre Poilievre/Facebook; Adam Scotti/PMO


Shachi Kurl, President: 604.908.1693 @shachikurl

Dave Korzinski, Research Director: 250.899.0821

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