“Not mandatory” to have Canadian currency with the effigy of Charles III | Death of Queen Elizabeth II

Canada is a constitutional monarchy. Because of this, The crown and its symbols are an integral part of Canadians’ daily lifeIt’s written from the start on the Government of Canada website on the page titled: Crown Transition – what it means to Canadians.

The Queen’s death automatically made Prince Charles the new sovereign of Canada and required no special action from the Canadian government.

However, this change of government will bring about changes that could even manifest themselves in Canadians’ wallets. What impact will the Queen’s death actually have on Canadian currency?

Currently, all coins bearing the image of Elizabeth II are legal tender and will remain in circulation indefinitely, confirms the Royal Canadian Mint. The same goes for the polymer $20 note, which features the Queen’s portrait.

We will modify future coins in accordance with the government’s decision and timeline, which have yet to be determined. »

A quote from Alex Reeves, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, Royal Canadian Mint

A Canadian $20 bill.

Photo: The Canadian Press/JONATHAN HAYWARD

A political decision that has to be made

In the future, the decision lies that the image of Charles III. to incorporate or not on coins and banknotes at the Government of Canada.

As Patrick Taillon, Professor of Constitutional Law at Université Laval, explains: this is not mandatory […] it is a political choice not dictated by the Constitution.

Charles III is nominally the head of state of more than ten Commonwealth countries, including Canada and Australia. In Canada, he is represented by Governor General Mary Simon.

So it’s up to the government [de Justin ] Trudeau decide to what extent he wants to play with royalist or monarchist vocabulary, language and symbols with this new head of statecontinues Patrick Taillon.

Philippe Lagassé, associate professor and expert on the Westminster parliamentary system at Carleton University, says not convincing at all that Ottawa will print new $20 bills and mint new coins bearing the image of the new sovereign.

At this time when discussions about equity and diversity are rife, Officials will not automatically decide whether to put the British seventy-year-old on the moneyhe said.

I don’t think it’s automatic, as some monarchists think and hopecontinues Philippe Lagassé.

However, it is not excluded that the image of Charles III. appears on coins and banknotes, for it is difficult to decide who might be put in his placeconcludes Mr. Taillon.

Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II stamp.

In February 2022, Canada Post issued a stamp featuring Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate her platinum anniversary.

Photo: Canada Post Corporation

When Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her platinum anniversary last February, Canada Post unveiled a commemorative stamp in her honor. This stamp and the 70 or so others made by the Crown Corporation in honor of the British sovereign are probably still in use as legal postage.

At the federal level, we remain very attached to tradition, notes Patrick Taillon, who does not rule out that with this change of government and this new head of state there will be changes in Canada.

It could be an opportunity to test that, he says, because the hallmark of monarchy in Canada is being legally omnipresent but politically invisible.

At home, prosecutors are prosecuting criminal cases on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. However, in Quebec this has been changed: Since the Silent Revolution, we have continued to live in a monarchy because it is at the heart of our legal system, the Laval University professor recalls. You cannot enact a law without royal approval.

But we have, if I may say so, masked all the symbols, we have republicanized them with synonyms, so to speak.

Whenever there was the word crown or king or queen in Quebec laws, it was replaced with state, which is somewhat synonymous. »

A quote from Patrick Taillon, Professor of Constitutional Law at Laval University

Buildings and official seals are adorned with the Royal Arms of Canada, several museums and institutions bear the title of Crown Corporations, passports issued in Canada certify the Queen’s authority on the reverse, and naval vessels of the Royal Canadian Navy all bear a name with the prefix HMCS (Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship).

Over time, according to the Government of Canada website, the new monarch’s effigy or portrait will be incorporated into a number of official documents and used in services, ceremonies and activities reflecting the Crown in Canada.

People with small Canadian flags sit in a room waiting for the naturalization ceremony.

New Canadians attend a citizenship ceremony.

Photo: CBC/Stephen Lubig

Live your monarchy your own way

Not the queen, but King Charles III. the new Canadians will pledge allegiance at their naturalization ceremony. On the other hand, both members of the House of Commons and members of the Senate do not have to take the oath again.

Queen Elizabeth II has been a patron of charities and organizations including the Canadian Cancer Society, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Royal Institute of Architecture of Canada and the Canadian Nurses Association. The latter can ask the secretariat of the governor-general to have another member of the royal family sponsor them from now on.

On Friday, King Charles III. delivered his maiden speech from Buckingham Palace in which he promised to serve the British people as monarch for the rest of his life. Charles, who is due to be officially proclaimed king on Saturday, also addressed his other subjects, including the 38 million Canadians.

Wherever you live in the UK or in kingdoms and territories across this vast world, and whatever your personal and professional background, I promise to serve you with love and respect. […]. »

A quote from Excerpt from the first speech of Charles III

It remains to be seen what kind of King Charles III. will be. Anyone who was still a toddler when their mother was crowned queen must register at the 21ste Century, the meaning of the monarchy.

As for Canada, the future will show how it will integrate the image of this new monarch and other associated symbols. To what extent do we want to play with this visibility, at least in the symbols? asks Patrick Taillon. We have a lot of leeway there and it is up to Canada to live its monarchy in its own way.

With information from Mélissa François

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