The Prince and his Duchess will disembark today in Saint John, Newfoundland. Beginning of a short three-day journey that will certainly revive debates around the relevance of the monarchy in Canada.
A harsh reality remains. We'd rather endure royalty than attack its lack of credibility here.
So we pretend, we look for symbols and messages. This trip will be no exception.
Reconciliation and environment
From a prayer in Inuktitut, to a performance of Mi'kmaq music, to a meeting with Dene chiefs and elders in the Northwest Territories, this royal visit in honor of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee will part of the great debates of the moment.
Yes, Prince Charles will reflect on the colonial heritage, bow down to its abuses and excesses.
He even risks saying a few words about the essential lessons that humanity must draw from the respect of indigenous peoples for the environment, their relationship to the land.
Supporters of the monarchy in Canada will want to see this as a strong signal in favor of reconciliation and the fight against climate change.
And yet, the majority will not believe it.
The monarchy will always remain a shaky colonial legacy. There is nothing Canadian about this monarchy, and yet we are too timid to dare to find an alternative to it.
Constitutionally, the monarchy, through the Governor General and her lieutenant governors, plays a fundamental role in the architecture of our parliamentary life.
To abolish it, one would have to know what to replace it with. An honorary president elected by universal suffrage like in Germany? Or elected 2/3 by the Senate and the Commons?
Worse, it would then require the agreement of the legislatures of the 10 provinces to consecrate any break with the monarchy.
Nothing simple there.
So we endure, we pretend. And during this time, we avoid entering modernity.