likely to happen. The bad news is that due to the negligence of
a certain prime minister Canada doesn't really have a plan to
deal with the situation either.
The roots of the problem go back to Canada's evolution as a
country. During the colonial period and later during Canada's
time as a self-governing dominion the question of regency was
effectively a question of British law. However, prior to 1937
Britain approached the issue on an ad hoc basis with laws
being passed when needed and for specific situations.
In 1937 a more permanent law was enacted in Britain which
remains in place to this day. This being seven years after the
Statute of Westminster it did not automatically apply to
Canada. Hindsight being 20-20 Canada ought to have acted
then. Alas, Prime Minister Mackenzie King was not known for
being overly proactive.
German invasion of Denmark which cut Iceland off from its
lawful sovereign. Fearing that the Germans might actually
invade Britain and cut Canada off from its monarch it was
agreed action should be taken. At this point a regency act
might have been agreed to but, for reasons that escape me,
Mackenzie King still didn't see the need.
Instead, the Letters Patent, 1947 were issued. While the
letters patent provided for the governor general to exercise
the monarchs authority under exceptional circumstances it
did not provide for a regency scenario. And this is as far as the
law has gone on this issue.
The result is that legal experts are not sure how a regency
would be arranged in Canada if one were needed.
How Might We Fix This?
'Office of the Crown' all of the provinces would have to agree
to the proposed act. An almost guaranteed opportunity for
mischief. But lets put that aside for now.
The British regency act is solid and would probably work
for Canada too as the regent (being a member of the Royal
Family) would be known to Canadians. But, no matter how
smoothly the regency goes republicans would likely use it as
an opportunity to cause trouble.
Another option would be to specify that no individual enters
the line of succession until they reach the age of majority. On
a certain level it sidesteps the issue of regency rather nicely.
However, negating a royal's hereditary rights on the simple
basis of age doesn't sit entirely well with me either. Even if it
would benefit the realm to avoid a regency.
As it stands the need for a regency law is low and is likely to
remain low. But if a future prime minister decides he wants to
open the constitution for other reasons maybe sneak a
regency provision in at the same time. Ok?
A Kisaragi Colour