"If you were to measure worth by profit
and loss, regret would be the only thing
borne of it." ~Oomichi Miyabi
government spends money on. While this is by-and-large a
good thing as it prevents excess and encourages defensible
spending it does present a challenge for monarchists. The
public is largely uninformed about how the Canadian Crown is funded. That many still believe Canadian tax dollars are
sent over to Britain is proof enough of that.
The Monarchist League of Canada, in its role of educating the
public about the monarchy, releases triennial surveys on the
costs of the Canadian Crown. I got in contact with the League
to ask them about the Cost of the Crown Surveys.
doing triennial surveys on the costs of the Canadian Crown?
Dominion Chairman Robert Finch: The League began
its triennial survey on the costs associated with the Canadian
Crown in 1999, in response to the many questions it received
and continues to receive on the subject, a curiosity aroused
by the prevailing media ignorance of the subject, especially
a) in confusing The Queen's personal assets with those that
are no more hers (Buckingham Palace, Royal Art Collection
and so on) than Rideau Hall is the GG's; and b) the fact that
the reportage focused nearly exclusively on the role and
expenses of the UK Crown, which had no bearing on the cost
of the Canadian Crown. These reasons continue to underlie
misunderstanding of monarchical and vice-regal finances in
the mainstream media, to which the survey can service as a
AKC: Where do you get the data needed to do the survey?
DCRF: The data is compiled by our researcher from both
public accounts and the discussions leading to voluntary
disclosure of information from the offices of the 11 vice-regal
representatives, as well of those of government organs which
bear some responsibility for costs associated with the
Canadian Crown. Some of these latter include the
Department of Canadian Heritage (official Royal
Homecomings), the RCMP (Royal protection) and the
Department of National Defence (Royal transportation).
Occasionally it has been necessary to make a Freedom of
Information or similar request.
AKC: How long does it take to put it together?
DCRF: It usually takes at least three months to assemble the
data, then a further number of months to clarify some points
and write the editorial material that accompanies the raw
AKC: What's the greatest difficulty in completing the survey?
DCRF: The greatest difficulty in completing the survey is the
multiplicity of provincial government bodies which are
responsible for portions of the expense of the Lieutenant
Governors, and the occasional suspicion of some private
secretaries that the League's reportage will only focus a
spotlight on the question of costs without benefit to the vice-
regal office. The League always points out that journalists
are always seeking to sensationalize their own reporting,
and that the careful and non-adversarial attitude with which
the League approaches this work generally serves to assist
the vice-regal offices in referring questioners to the study but
also that it is written with a background knowledge of the
institution which few journalists possess. The League is
careful to consult with the offices so that the peculiarities of
each situation are explained, as each Government House
operation functions in a distinct way due to a variety of
AKC: When is the next survey set to be released?
DCRF: We expect that work on the next Survey will begin in
2016, with release ideally in the second half of that year.
There is some discussion that the next Survey might well
underscore the cost-benefits equation of the Canadian
Crown's financials, whereby a great deal of good work is
accomplished for a very small sum; and how any modern
state, republic or monarchy, would incur similar expenses
providing historic houses for government leaders; operating
an honours system & touring the country.
It is important to remember that a Canadian republic would
still have a president and that the costs would still be the same. And for what? The monarchy provides a non-partisan core to government activity. It is worth every penny.