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Charles III: It's 'virtually impossible' for Canada to drop the King – CTV News



Canada’s Constitution makes it incredibly challenging for the country to end its ties with the Monarchy.

“I think it would be very difficult,” Allan Hutchinson, a legal theorist and law professor at York University, told “Any change in the arrangements around the Crown would require the unanimity of all provinces and the federal government. The chances of getting that are not good.”


Canada is a constitutional monarchy, which means the British sovereign is our ceremonial head of state, represented by the Governor General. Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles III ascended the British throne and also became King of Canada.

“It really is all about formalities,” Hutchinson said. “King Charles has no power in Canada.”

Countries without monarchies, like the U.S. and France, are known as republics. For Canada to sever its longstanding ties to the Monarchy and become a republic, it would require agreement between the House of Commons, the Senate and all 10 provinces. Known as “amendment by unanimous consent,” the rule is outlined in Section 41 of the 1982 Constitution Act, which was enacted by then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s government. Input from the territories or a referendum is not required.

“In 1982, they needed the approval of the Brits in order to get the Constitution repatriated,” Hutchinson, who has written extensively about the Constitution, explained. “I think at that time, if they had made the monarchy a kind of optional feature, that might have been a problem.”

Constitutional law expert David Schneiderman believes it would be “virtually impossible” to achieve unanimous consent on the issue today.

“You would have to have an overwhelming consensus in Canadian public opinion that would warrant premiers passing resolutions in their legislatures calling for abolition of the Monarchy,” Schneiderman, a professor of law and political science at the University of Toronto, told “I don’t see that happening anytime soon.”

Most other constitutional changes require agreement from two-thirds of the provinces, if they represent at least 50 per cent of the country’s population. Previous major attempts to amend the Constitution have failed, like the Meech Lake Accord in 1987 and the Charlottetown Accord in 1992.

“We know from our own history that changing the Constitution is a bit of a fool’s errand,” Hutchinson said. “Once you start opening it up, people will say, ‘Well, if we’re going to change the Constitution, what about this? What about that?’ I think it would lead us down a path that is fraught with a lot of challenges.”


King Charles III now serves as head of state of 15 Commonwealth realms, which include the United Kingdom and former British colonies like Australia, Belize, Canada, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Several—particularly those in the Caribbean—are revaluating their ties.

In November 2021, Barbados became a republic and removed the Queen as head of state, the first country to do so in nearly 30 years. Its constitution simply required a decision by parliament.

Jamaica is also exploring the possibility of becoming a republic, although experts say the process will take years and require a referendum. The government of Antigua and Barbuda has meanwhile announced plans to hold a referendum on the Monarchy within the next three years, and the prime minister of the Bahamas has signalled an openness to a referendum too.

Such a referendum failed to end the Monarchy in Australia in 1999. Known for his republican leanings, Australia’s prime minister recently said that a referendum is not a priority during his government’s first term.


While Queen Elizabeth’s death has led to an outpouring of admiration for the monarch herself, recent scandals in the House of Windsor, like Prince Andrew’s relationship with disgraced financer and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and accusations of racism from Meghan Markle, have tarnished the institution’s reputation for some.

For many Indigenous people in Canada and those who suffered through harsh colonial rule in republics like Kenya and Cyprus, the Monarchy’s legacy can also be painful and complicated.

A poll from the Angus Reid Institute in April 2022 found that 51 per cent of Canadian respondents were in favour of abolishing the Monarchy in coming generations, compared with 26 per cent who were in favour of keeping it and 24 per cent were unsure. Approximately half of respondents believed the Royal Family represents outdated values and is “no longer relevant at all.” The poll also found that 65 per cent of respondents opposed recognizing Charles as Canada’s King and head of state.

Similar surveys from 2021 and 2020 show Canadians are increasingly questioning our ties to the British throne. According to a report from the Monarchist League of Canada, these ties cost Canada $58.7 million in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Despite the constitutional challenges, Schneiderman believes Canadians could “imagine an alternative.”

“I think we should have been considering our ties to the Monarchy even before the death of Queen Elizabeth,” Schneiderman said. “It’s a moment to reflect on who we have had as a head of state, and whether we want to continue on with a head of state that is hereditary, from a particular family that breeds leaders to serve in this role; or whether in a modern, democratic and multicultural society, we might want a head of state that’s a little bit more representative of the people that the head of state serves.”

Hutchinson, who grew up and studied in the U.K., agrees.

“The idea that we have some hereditary head of state is rather pitiful in 2022 in a so-called democracy,” he said. “I don’t know what we lose by calling the Governor General something else, and then cutting ties with the Monarchy.”

Peter McNally is a retired McGill University information studies professor and a self-proclaimed “palace watcher.”

McNally also believes amending the Constitution would be “extremely difficult,” but when it comes to the Monarchy, he doesn’t want to see Canada try.

“The reason Canada exists historically because of 18th century loyalty to the Monarchy,” he told “Today, the Monarchy is the living embodiment of Canada’s parliamentary tradition. It’s also a bulwark against American cultural imperialism.”

With files from the Associated Press

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Ontario reports 72 new COVID-19 deaths as wastewater signals climb once again –



Ontario is reporting 72 new deaths linked to COVID-19, as wastewater signals are once again on the rise after trending downward for months, according to the latest report from Public Health Ontario.

New data released Thursday from the Ontario Ministry of Health shows the number of people in hospital with the virus climbed from 1,141 this time last week to 1,265 this week. 

The number of people in intensive care with COVID-19 also rose slightly from 129 to 133. Of those, 57 patients require a ventilator to breathe, about the same as last week’s total of 58.

Test positivity on Thursday dropped slightly to 12.5 per cent, down from 13.1 per cent last Thursday.

Meanwhile, the latest report from Public Health Ontario, which is updated every Friday, shows the level of the novel coronavirus seen in Ontario’s wastewater began creeping upward around the first week of September and is estimated to have been climbing since.

That’s after a period of plateau and slow decline following a peak in early July.

Data from Public Health Ontario shows the amount of the novel coronavirus seen in Ontario’s wastewater began creeping upward around the first week of September and are estimated to have been climbing since. (Public Health Ontario)

Wastewater signals have increased in most parts of the province, including in the Greater Toronto Area, with the Central East and West regions seeing the steepest climbs. Central East includes Haliburton Kawartha and Pine Ridge; Peterborough; and Simcoe Muskoka, while Central West includes Brant County; Haldimand-Norfolk; Hamilton and Niagara Region.

The news comes as Ontario opened Omicron-targeted COVID-19 vaccine bookings to all adults Monday.

Last week, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore noted vaccine uptake among Ontario’s youngest age group was lower than expected.

“We have work to do to continue our (official) message,” he told The Canadian Press at the time. “It will accelerate as we head into indoors and head into the fall as we perceive the risk of transmission will increase.”

The most recent wave of the illness to hit Ontario — which started on June 19 and peaked in early August —  is being fuelled largely by Omicron variant BA. 5.

Experts have said reported case counts are a severe underestimate of the actual extent of COVID-19 infections in Ontario. 

Earlier this month, members of Ontario’s since-dissolved science advisory table said they would have advised against the province’s decision to scrap COVID-19 isolation requirements had they been consulted on the move.

On Aug. 31, the province scrapped the mandatory five-day isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19.

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Canada’s economic activity creeps up, unexpectedly – Al Jazeera English



The economy grew 0.1 percent in July, compared with a forecast for a 0.1 percent decline, but inflation persists.

Canada’s economic activity unexpectedly edged up in July, data shows, while gross domestic product (GDP) in August was most likely flat, with the surprise gain seen unlikely to change much for the central bank.

The Canadian economy grew 0.1 percent in July, compared with analysts’ forecast for a 0.1 percent decline, Statistics Canada data showed on Thursday. Growth in goods-producing industries more than offset the first decrease in services-producing industries since January.

“The economy fared better than anticipated this summer, but the showing still wasn’t much to write home about,” Royce Mendes, head of macro strategy at Desjardins Group, said in a note.

The slight gain in July and likely lack of growth in August suggest third-quarter annualised GDP growth of about 1 percent, well below the Bank of Canada’s most recent forecast of 2.0 percent, analysts said.

“After a solid first half of the year, momentum appears to be slowing as multi-decade-high inflation and rapidly rising interest rates weigh on the economy,” Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Economics, said in a note.

The Bank of Canada raised rates by 75 basis points to 3.25 percent earlier this month to fight inflation, which began to cool slightly in July, but is still running at levels not seen in nearly 40 years.

The July GDP data showed oil sands extraction drove growth, jumping 5.1 percent on higher output, with crop production also helping, up 7.2 percent mainly on volumes of wheat and other grains.

Demand for Canadian wheat has increased since Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a special military operation, helping push up export volumes.

But Canada’s retail trade sector contracted sharply in July, falling to its lowest level since December 2021, pushed down by a 7.1 percent decline in output at petrol stations, Statscan said, though that likely reversed in August.

Accommodation and food services also contracted in July, driven by less activity at bars and restaurants.

Hot inflation meant the Bank of Canada was likely to increase interest rates at its next decision in late October, but then the game may change, economists said.

“The deceleration in economic momentum is why we see the Bank of Canada only hiking rates once more in October,” Mendes said. Money markets are betting on a rise in October, with one more in December or January to bring the central bank’s policy rate to 4.00 percent.

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Canada matching more donations for Pakistan flood aid, will raise cap to $5M – CTV News




The federal government will extend its matching of donations to help people dealing with catastrophic flooding in Pakistan in hopes the crisis doesn’t fall off the public radar.

“I felt that it wasn’t getting the (media) coverage that a crisis like this deserves,” International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a Thursday interview.

Severe monsoon rains this summer have affected more than 33 million people, many of whom have needed emergency food, water, sanitation and health services.

More than one-third of Pakistan was underwater, including much of its agricultural land, which experts believe will spark a food shortage.

Sajjan said he saw devastating scenes on a visit to the country earlier this month.

“When I was flying over affected areas, you literally could not see the end,” he said.

“Countries that have had the least to do with contributing to climate change are actually now the most greatly affected by it.”

On Sept. 13, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government would match up to $3 million in donations made to the Humanitarian Coalition and its dozen member charities.

That matching campaign was due to end on Wednesday.

Sajjan said it will be extended, and the amount is now capped at $5 million.

Ottawa previously committed $30 million of its own spending.

Sajjan said the idea has been to respond to the immediate, interim and long-term needs of the country, to make sure the right amount of aid dollars reach the correct places.

“What we’re doing is funding in chunks, to make sure we’re assessing the needs in a timely basis so the resources can be there,” he said.

“Now we that we have a little bit of breathing space, we are looking at the midterm need assessment.”

Canada will likely fund climate mitigation work in the country once it has recovered, to lower the impact of future floods, Sajjan said.

He noted that Canada helped fund the early-warning system that officials told him was key to saving lives this summer.

That came after massive 2010 floods in Pakistan.

Within a year, the former Harper government pledged $71.8 million for relief efforts, including $46.8 million from donations Ottawa had matched.

When asked why Canada is only matching slightly more than one-tenth that amount, the Humanitarian Coalition said the funding is in line with cost-matching in past crises such as the 2021 earthquake in Haiti.

“To be sure, the match amount is modest, but it does fit within a recent range,” wrote spokeswoman Marg Buchanan.

She said the amounts are based on what humanitarian groups predict people will donate, “influenced by timing, waning media interest and other dominant stories.”

NDP development critic Heather McPherson argued the Liberals have been slow to put up the funding promised for other humanitarian initiatives.

She pointed to unspent funds in Ukraine and for reproductive health elsewhere.

“Their announcements are starting to be a little slim; I don’t think people are feeling very reassured,” McPherson said.

The Conservatives have called on the government to allow cost-matching for more organizations responding to disasters, including the flooding in Pakistan.

“It is easier (for Ottawa) to say that it is going to match a contribution to this big player, as opposed to saying it is going to match donations to all of the organizations that are doing this work,” Garnett Genuis told the Commons this week.

“Organizations tell me that they get calls from previous donors who say they were going to donate to what they were doing, but they actually want to donate to another organization that is getting matched.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2022.

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