was removed from the lobby of the Foreign Affairs building.
The portrait had hung there since 2011 when it replaced two
paintings by Quebec artist Alfred Pellan.
observers may see the reaction as a bit much. To understand
the reaction from the League requires knowing a bit of the
history between the League and the Liberal Party of Canada.
to counter what was seen as the
'creeping republicanism' of the
governing Liberal Party. The slow
removal of royal symbols, downplay
of royal history, and subtle disregard
for the Crown was a war of attrition.
Every negative action taken by the
government in regards to the Crown
had to be confronted or Canada's
monarchy would face slow decay.
returned to its rightful place at the center of Canadian culture
by the Conservative Party. During the period in between the
Liberals held a vote on adopting opposition to the monarchy
as a part of party policy. While the vote failed 67-33 the
vote left some monarchists concerned about what the Liberal
Party would do in power. The Trudeau Liberals have also
made some supportive statements in favour of the
monarchy. However, saying things outside of power and
doing things once in power are completely different.
With the return of the Liberal Party after the recent election
the League is certainly looking for signs whether the
monarchy is now valued by the Liberals or whether it will be a
return to the previous policy of republicanism by a thousand
cuts. While the League is strictly non-partisan there isn't
a lot of trust for the new Liberal government as of yet. An
action like this so shortly after the election was likely to be
interpreted as an attack. The portrait flap will probably come
to be seen as the first uneasy interaction between two groups
which have not had to work together for a while. I'm not
prepared to read too much into this action. One mistake a
trend doth not make. As for what ought to have been done
about the paintings...
somewhat to blame for the current situation. They set up a
situation that artificially pitted monarchism vs. Quebec
nationalism. The sensible solution, in 2011 as in 2015, would
be to have both the Queen's portrait and the paintings on the
(very large) wall. The paintings represent the diversity of
Canada. The portrait represents Canada's status as a
monarchy, a unifying force, and the person in whose name
the Foreign Affairs office acts. The wall is literally, and
figuratively big enough for both.
A Kisaragi Colour