Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the steps of Rideau Cottage. (CPAC)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the steps of Rideau Cottage. (CPAC)

Now not the time to talk about breaking with the monarchy, Trudeau says

‘I’m focused on getting us through this pandemic and bringing our economy roaring back’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he’s not eager for a debate over the future of the monarchy in the wake of allegations of racism at Buckingham Palace.

Accusations from Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, that racism was the driving force behind their exit from royal duties and departure from Britain have set off a heated debate within the Commonwealth about future ties to the Queen.

“If people want to later talk about constitutional change and shifting our system of government, that’s fine, and they can have those conversations,” Trudeau told reporters Tuesday,

“But right now, I’m not having those conversations. I’m focused on getting us through this pandemic and bringing our economy roaring back.”

Trudeau said Canada still has work to do to eliminate discrimination and systemic racism in its institutions, but that’s doesn’t mean casting them aside and starting from scratch.

Both the NDP and Bloc Quebecois leaders say the allegations are further proof the monarchy is no longer relevant to everyday Canadians and should be abolished.

“I don’t see that the benefit of the monarchy in Canadians’ lives,” Singh said.

“Now, even more so, with concerns about racism in the institution that were raised and pressures that were placed on Meghan Markle, just again highlight that exists at that institution and that is also horrible.”

VIDEO: Revealing Harry, Meghan interview reverberates across U.K.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday, the couple alleged that questions about what skin colour their children would have and a failure by the “institution” to push back against racist coverage in the British press ultimately led them to conclude they had to make a break.

For a time, the duo lived in Canada but when it became clear no security was going to be offered to keep them safe and the borders were about to slam shut around the world due to the pandemic, they decided to move to the United States.

The Liberals are still working on replacing the Queen’s representative in Canada, the governor general, after Julie Payette resigned earlier this year following revelations of a toxic workplace at Rideau Hall.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc said while he’d hoped to have nailed down a process for choosing a successor to Payette a couple of weeks ago, the final pieces are now being put into place and should be unveiled imminently.

He too refused to comment on the situation now faced by the Queen, also saying he hadn’t watched the interview.

RELATED: Buckingham Palace’s silence on Harry, Meghan allegations adds to furor

Justin TrudeauRoyal family

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The old Yount school in Youbou has stood empty for years, but now a group has plans to turn it into a mixed-use property with affordable housing and tourist services. (Submitted)
Group sets sights on tranforming old Yount school property in Youbou

School District 79 has already commenced a process to sell the school through a formal proposal call

North Cowicha to extend the time lines of its official community plan update. (File photo)
North Cowichan to extend time line of OCP review

Municipality also adds $55,000 to OCP budget

Cowichan Capitals’ Logan Rands digs for the puck along the boards in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ zone midway through the third period of their BC Hockey League game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Cowichan Capitals pick up first two wins of BCHL season

Brockman, Moffatt both up to four goals on the year

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Police surround building as homeowner held in apartment by adult son

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A almost hitting school bus

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Eight-year-old Piper and her family were raising money to help Guinevere, the bearded dragon, get a gynecological surgery. Sadly, the reptile didn’t survive the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Lizard fails to survive surgery, GoFundMe dollars help Langley family offset medical bills

Guinevere, a pet bearded dragon, underwent an ovariectomy on Tuesday

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Road rager fails breathalyzer on busy B.C. highway in vehicle he shouldn’t be driving

Saanich police say man was operating vehicle without required ignition lock

The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)
Family fights killer’s release from Vancouver Island prison

Shortreed serving an indeterminate sentence at William Head Institution

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

Most Read