June 17, 2021

Harry and Meghan: The big question Canadians have about move

Many Canadians have an affection for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. But one big question is hanging over the shock news of the couple’s part-time relocation to Canada – what will it cost?

There has been plenty of chatter in Canada since Prince Harry and Meghan said they would be stepping back as senior royals and spending part of their time in North America.

The duchess is spending time on Canada’s west coast with their infant son as the couple flesh out the details of their move away from their role as full-time royals, with her public outings closely followed.

But the main preoccupation hovering over the royal couple’s decision to spend part of their time in Canada comes down to who will foot the bill – especially if they are spending the bulk of their time as private citizens.

Some have outright rejected the idea of the public shouldering any costs for the couple.

The leader of the Bloc Quebecois – a federal party that represents the interests of Quebec, a province where attitudes towards the monarchy tend to be frostier than in the rest of Canada – said Quebecers should not have to pay a dime.

Yves-Francois Blanchet quipped he was already paying for a Netflix subscription, where he could watch The Crown, a drama about Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

He is not alone in not wanting to fork out any cash.

A public opinion poll released this week by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute indicated that 73% of Canadians have no interest in paying any of the costs for security and other expenditures associated with their relocation.

“This view is consistent across demographic groups including age, gender or region or political preference,” the organisation said in a release.

Just 3% of respondents told the pollster that Canadians should pick up the tab for security and other necessary costs, and 19% said they were fine with paying a portion of the bill.

Dividing time in two countries? How I make it work
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a taxpayer advocacy group, says the current debate over who should ante up for costs related to the members of the monarchy is different from those that regularly bubble up in Canada.

The country is a constitutional monarchy – its head of state is Queen Elizabeth II – and things like Royal tours and the office of the Governor General, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, are paid for by the public purse.

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