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The Monarchist League of Canada is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is "to promote the understanding of and loyalty to the Canadian Crown."

The League focuses on three areas: Education, Advocacy, and Research. Local branches, many under the patronage of Lieutenant Governor, complement these areas of focus by acting as a grassroots rallying point for members.

History

The Monarchist League of Canada was founded in 1970 by John Aimers and was federally incorporated in 1976.

The 1960s and 1970s saw a growing mood of Canadian and Québécois nationalism and a resulting criticism from opponents of monarchy who perceived the institution as an archaic and foreign symbol of colonialism and the British Empire.

In an effort to create a new national identity, the Canadian government responded by removing some traditional symbols of the Monarchy. For example, the Canadian Red Ensign, bearing the Royal Union flag, was replaced by the Maple Leaf flag, God Save the Queen was replaced by O Canada, the Queen's Printer for Canada assumed a less visible role, the Royal Mail was rebranded as Canada Post , among other controversial moves.

Supporters of the Monarchy were alarmed by these changes and formed the League as a lobby group in favour of the retention of the traditional symbols of monarchy and against what it described as "creeping republicanism" that would result in the eventual transformation of Canada from a constitutional monarchy into a republic.

During the 1970s the League was heavily involved in opposition against constitutional amendment proposals that would have created the Governor General as Head of State above the Monarch.

Though failing to prevent erosion in some areas, the League did successfully campaign the Government of Canada to maintain a Canadian version of the Victoria Cross as Canada's highest military decoration, and to maintain the Queen's place in the Oath of Citizenship. The League also persuaded Canada Post to issue a definitive stamp bearing the image of the Queen as a mandatory item in all postal outlets (see Queen Elizabeth II definitive stamp).

Current activities

Cover of the Monarchist League publication The Canadian Monarchy.

Education

Educating Canadians about the role of the Crown has long been one of the League's primary goals. As a supplement to provincial educational resources, the League produced and distributed "Red Boxes" (modelled after the Queen's own boxes in which she receives diplomatic and state papers), containing information about the Crown and related activities. Production of these toolkits ceased in 2006 to make way for a new wave of educational material.

In 2006, the League released a 36-page educational booklet entitled The Canadian Monarchy: Exploring the role of Canada's Crown in the day-to-day life of our country (ISBN 0-9781853-0-7) and a new Education section on its Website.

Advocacy

The League actively lobbies the federal and provincial governments, individual politicians, Crown corporations, government agencies, the media, and others to promote awareness of the role of the Monarchy. This is often in the form of organized letter-writing campaigns or through behind-the-scenes manoeuvring.

Since 2005, the League has been engaged in active campaign to restore the Queen's name to Canadian diplomatic Letters of Credence and Recall.

Research

The League commissions a definitive study on the actual cost of the Canadian Monarchy every three years , the next of which is scheduled to be completed in 2008. The survey is distributed to members, media, and parliamentarians and is available for download on the League's Website.

Other activities

The League is considered by many as being the recognized voice of Canadian monarchism. Often, members are called upon to engage in debate on television and radio shows, or offer commentary on occasions of royal significance.



The League stages various national and regional social events throughout the year. An annual Accession Day Luncheon is held in Toronto each February to celebrate the accession of the Queen to the throne February 6, 1952.

The League has welcomed Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, and Princess Anne, giving Canadian Royals opportunity to meet its volunteers and members. Individual branches also organize luncheons, banquets, receptions and lectures, where senators, members of parliament, members of legislative assemblies, academics and other prominent citizens participate as guest speakers.

Canadian Monarchist News

Canadian Monarchist News is the League's occasional newsletter. Published in tabloid format, CMN features in-depth articles relating to the Canadian Crown as well as League news and information.

Organization

National

The League is governed by a Board of Directors elected bi-annually by its general membership. Robert Finch is the League's current Dominion Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding longtime Chairman John Aimers in 2007.

Other Officers include Gavin Guthrie (Vice-Chairman, Political Action) and Nathan Tidridge (Education Coordinator).

Branches

The League sanctions local Branches and Contact Groups throughout Canada to serve as a rallying point for members and undertake a variety of activities in an effort to influence local opinion in favour of the Crown. There are currently over 20 branches/contact groups across the country:



Young Monarchists

In response to a growing number of younger members, the League created a Young Monarchist group to help to foster the ideas and involvement of monarchists under the age of 30.

The Young Monarchists are coordinated by university students Tom Richards Graeme Scotchmer and Dan Whaley.

The YMG stages an annual national conference, where members discuss topics relevant to both the Crown and people of their age group, the latest of which was held in the national capital in 2006. Previous meetings were held in Toronto.

The League maintains three university branches, one at the University of Waterloomarker, another at Wilfrid Laurier Universitymarker, and a new one at the University of Toronto. Young volunteers play a central part in the regional and national work of the League. Summer student internships have been sponsored in partnership with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in Toronto and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia in Victoria.

See also



External links




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