Sean Kilpatrick Archives The Canadian Press “The Trudeau government has failed to respect public opinion. He could have been inspired by all these countries which honor those who fought for democracy and contributed to the history of their country, but no. The minister made the choice to promote the monarchy rather than democracy,” denounced Bloc leader Rhéal Éloi Fortin, seen here in 2021.
On the occasion of the 75th birthday of King Charles III, the Royal Canadian Mint on Tuesday unveiled his portrait which will soon appear on all new coins in the country. After adorning Canadian coins from 1953 to 2023, the image of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, will finally be replaced.
The Bloc Québécois spokesperson on monarchy, Rhéal Éloi Fortin said he was deeply disappointed by the decision of the Trudeau government and the Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, not to put an end to a tradition “from the past” and deeply rejected by Quebecers.
“There was no law requiring him to do so. The government could have preferred other symbols, more consistent with the democratic values that Quebecers cherish, but it once again erred, by choosing a monarchical symbol, from an institution from the past, which has no legitimacy. democratic and which is rejected by a majority of Canadians and an even clearer majority of Quebecers”, denounced Rhéal Éloi Fortin.
Photo: Royal Canadian Mint The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled on Tuesday the portrait of Charles III which will soon appear on the coins across the country, seen here on a $1 coin.
A Léger poll earlier this year showed that Canadians are largely indifferent to King Charles III, and more than half of respondents think his coronation was the right time for Canada to reconsider its ties to the monarchy. Only 13% of those surveyed said they felt a personal attachment to the monarchy, compared to 81% who did not.
Antimonarchical sentiment was strongest in Quebec, where 71% of survey participants said it was time to reconsider the ties.
The Bloc Québécois wrote, in December 2022, to the Minister of Finance to ask her not to affix the effigy of Charles III on coins. For its part, the Canadian government earlier this year asked the Royal Mint and the Bank of Canada to replace the effigy of the Queen with that of the King on its coins and on the $20 bill.
“The Trudeau government has failed to respect public opinion. He could have been inspired by all these countries which honor those who fought for democracy and contributed to the history of their country, but no. The minister made the choice to value monarchy rather than democracy,” concluded Mr. Fortin.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister's Office and Governor General Mary Simon both sent their wishes birthday to the King on behalf of “all Canadians.”
The new coin design has been sent to Buckingham Palace for approval. The Royal Canadian Mint intends to release a small quantity of coins of each denomination into circulation by December.