The coronavirus pandemic and events in the U.S. still top the news, but there are other things happening.
The skating area cleared on Williams Lake by the city was one of the good things. When my boys were young, someone always cleared a skating spot on the lake and they spent a lot of time there.
Before the winters started getting warmer there were rinks all over the city: big ones, small ones, back yard ones, but they were a lot of work and everyone gave up when the weather stopped co-operating.
This lake one did not last long but was still worth it.
The announcement that Prince Harry and wife Meghan are expecting their second child and have abdicated from the Royal Family is news, but the royal issue that impacts Canadians directly is finding a new Governor General.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy. Over the years we have become more independent. Our flag was the Union Jack until the Maple Leaf became official in February, 1965. O Canada became our official anthem in 1980, before that it was God Save the King (or Queen).
Queen Elizabeth has reigned for 69 years. She’s the only monarch most Canadians have ever known.
The Governor General is her representative. According to recent polling, Canadians are split on keeping our ties to Britain, but most were alarmed to learn about the millions of dollars it costs to keep the GGs in a royal manner, not only during their five-year term, but for life. The Royal Family costs U.K. taxpayers, too, but the royals do contribute to the economy. GGs don’t contribute much to ours. Although the job is mainly ceremonial, eliminating it would be a difficult and lengthy process. There is an alternative. What about cutting back on some of more generous benefits?
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.