The Telegram (St. John's)

Johnston says monarchy remains important


OTTAWA — The Governor General says he has become convinced more than ever of the importance of the monarchy in Canadian democracy, but regrets too few in the country understand the unique role of the Crown. The monarchy is a source of stability in Canada’s 150-year history, and one of the reasons why the country has thus far been immune from more populist movements gripping other parts of the globe, Gov. Gen. David Johnston said. The Queen, represente­d by the Governor General as head of state, represents the “spirit of the country” and complement­s the role the prime minister plays as the head of government, Johnston said Wednesday in a telephone interview from London at the close of a two day visit with the Queen.

“The head of state function has to do with stability, of rule of law, of fundamenta­l values, persisting year upon year, decade upon decade,” he said. “Our system works well and I guess if I had any regret it’s that we don’t understand it better and that we don’t see as Canadians the uniqueness of it and how for the most part it serves us well,” he said. The trip to the U.K. is likely to be Johnston’s last as the Queen’s representa­tive in Canada.

Johnston said in their final private meeting Tuesday, the two talked about Canada’s role in internatio­nal diplomacy and the Crown’s relationsh­ip with the country’s Indigenous Peoples.

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