Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No.16

May 20, 2004


Letters to the Editor


Vice-regal error

The lead article in your May 6 issue “Adrienne Clarkson awarded honorary doctorate” identifies Governor General Adrienne Clarkson as Canada’s head of state.

Ms. Clarkson has done much to promote Canadian multiculturalism, and it is entirely proper that Concordia should award her an honorary doctorate. However, her work is undermined by the fact that she is not Canada’s head of state.

That job currently belongs to Queen Elizabeth II, who, under Canadian law, must be a Protestant Christian not married to a Roman Catholic. Indeed, a woman can only be Canada’s head of state if she has no brothers (who are preferred), and for most Quebeckers the monarchy symbolizes the British imperial conquest of New France.

Perhaps one day Canada will throw off the romanticized medieval nepotism that is the monarchy, but for now Ms. Clarkson is the queen’s viceroy in Ottawa, and not Canada’s head of state.

- Jonathan David Makepeace, staff