Monday, July 6, 2020

Prince Harry and Meghan's installation received with circumspection in Canada

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It is therefore decided, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, will live part of the year in Canada, and have renounced their title of Royal Highness for that. But in the North American country, the authorization granted by Queen Elizabeth II arouses many reservations.

A few hours after the royal announcement on January 9, a poll published in the English-language daily National Post said 61% of Canadians wanted Harry to become Canada's next governor general, the Queen’s official representative in the country. But on January 15, a new Angus Reid Institute opinion poll revealed that 73% of Canadians refused to pay the bill for settling in Canada.

Read also "A great sadness": Prince Harry speaks for the first time on the loss of his royal title

The overall cost to ensure the safety of the princely couple and their child, which should be provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, has been estimated by the media at 1.7 million Canadian dollars (1.17 million euros) in case of permanent installation. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has petitioned for the "Best of luck to Harry and Meghan in their wish to become financially independent", while arguing that "This objective was incompatible with the use of taxpayers' money to cover their costs." The petition collected more than 50,000 signatures in one week.

"Diplomatic courtesy"

Even intransigent about their future immigrant status: Harry may be the grandson of the official head of state of Canada, a country belonging to the Commonwealth, but he will have no special favors. "Citizenship law does not confer citizenship on members of the British royal family", recalled the Canadian authorities. If they want to acquire permanent resident status, Harry and his wife will have to qualify according to a certain number of criteria: age, diplomas, linguistic knowledge … The years spent by Meghan Markle in Toronto for the filming of the American series Suits will probably earn him some points.

Read also Harry and Meghan will be able to live between Canada and the United Kingdom with the Queen's backing

The Minister of Immigration, however, has discretion to expedite the princely request. Will he use it? Patrick Taillon, professor of constitutional law at the University of Laval, would be strong "Astonished" he said, "That Canada does not spend any dollar, nor facilitate the arrival of the couple". "The basic diplomatic courtesy will eventually prevail", He said.

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