Canadians not preoccupied with constitutional change, PM says as Prince Charles, Camilla start tour

Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive for their Canadian 2022 Royal Tour in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada May 17, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadians are not preoccupied with constitutional change, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters as Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla kicked off their Canadian tour in the eastern province of Newfoundland on Tuesday.

"When I hear from Canadians about the things they're preoccupied about, and the things they want their governments to work on, it's not about constitutional change," he said.

The three-day tour, the prince's 19th of Canada, will include the Northwest Territories and Canada's capital region, and is focused on the issues of climate change and reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

The visit is also part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth's seven decades on the throne.

An opinion poll released by the Angus Reid research group in April shows a growing share of Canadians support eventually abolishing the country's constitutional monarchy, with about 51% saying it should disappear in coming generations, up from 45% in January 2020.

Although Canada ceased being a British colony in 1867, it remained a member of the British Commonwealth, with a British-appointed governor-general acting on the monarch's behalf.

Tuesday's events were to include a smudging ceremony - an Indigenous spiritual practice that usually involves burning medicines such as sweetgrass, cedar, sage or tobacco - and a prayer in the Heart Garden in St. John's, a site that commemorates the child victims of Canada's residential schools.

Under the auspices of Canada's federal government and in the name of the Crown about 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and enrolled in abusive church-run residential schools between 1831 and 1996.

Canada was rocked last year by discoveries of what is believed to be the remains of thousands of children at or near the sites of former residential schools. Canada's government was warned of high death rates in these schools, often due to abuse or neglect, more than a century ago.

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; additional reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

Ecuador government, indigenous leaders hold first talks amid protests
Ukraine shelling forces Russians to halt Sievierodonetsk plant evacuation - Tass
Lebanon faces new wave of COVID-19: ministry
Zelenskiy says Ukraine will win back lost cities, admits war is tough to bear
France's Macron seeks to name new government in early July
Ukraine will fight on from higher ground after pullback, spy chief says
Putin promises Belarus nuclear-capable missiles to counter 'aggressive' West
One in two households in Greece struggling to cover energy needs: survey
Commonwealth ends summit with call for action on climate change, trade
Russian military says it has full control over Sievierodonetsk

Others Also Read