BY SURJIT SINGH FLORA
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With the blessing of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will be dividing their time in the U.K. and Canada during a “period of transition” as they take a step back from their official duties as senior members of the Royal Family. The decision comes after a week of rampant speculation about a rift in the family following Prince Harry and Meghan’s bombshell announcement that indicated they would reduce their Royal workload and become “financially independent.” They are leaving the U.K. for Canada. On Monday, the Queen released a statement saying the Royal Family “respect” and understand their desire to live a more independent life as a family, while remaining a valued part of the institution. Since the couple made their decision to “step back” from their roles as senior members of the Royal Family last Wednesday, the U.K. media has been thrown into a frenzy. How could they do this to the Queen? What does this new “progressive role” mean? Who will be paying for their security costs overseas? Now the question is raised that, “who will be paying for their security costs over here in Canada?” It’s about money. The Canadian taxpayers do not want to pay for their security. Why should they? It’s nothing personal. They are hugely wealthy and not our financial responsibility. Most importantly, they are fighting for their own freedom, and it’s “independence.” So, these two can pay their own way – with the millions, and they are sure to make privately. Canadian taxpayers don’t have the spare change; on the contrary. / The bottom line is that the Canadians are not ready to let them have their cake and eat it too in Canada, while we all bow, scrape, and fund their visits and security. It is shocking that the Canadian public, who enjoy the beautiful faces of the Royal Family, find their presence ‘far from pleasant’. According to a survey by Angus Reid, 73 per cent of Canadians want Prince Harry and Meghan to avoid all costs, including their own security, without burdening Canadians. Only 3 per cent of Canadians are in favor of the Royal couple’s expense, while 19 per cent are in favor of the majority of the expense. Although 69 per cent of Canadians are ‘Prince Harry crazy,’ this madness is limited only to his celebrity with a well-rounded appearance and celebrity character. In fact, there is a steady increase in the number of Canadians who want to see Canada get out of the Constitutional Coinage of the British Empire. In 2016, 38 per cent of Canadians were against being the proprietor of the Royal family; now, that number has increased to 45 per cent. While everyone feels “honoured” or “special” because Prince Harry and Meghan would choose to live here, the sad part is that in the future, if they decide to move on to L.A. after we paid millions of dollars for their security and accommodation. I wish the PM would stop being starstruck and would negotiate the terms rather than throwing our tax dollars at them. 73 per cent of Canadians think nothing should be paid, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pointed out that Canada would have to bear some of the Royal couple’s expenses, which would include the cost of security provided by the RCMP. / Experts who provide security for the most important people think the Royal couple’s annual security cost could be more than $10 million. This could include items like protecting their personal guard, vehicle, and secure enclosure. Experts with knowledge of Canadian immigration law are questioning whether the Royal couple will come to Permanent Residence, whose ability to meet their conditions does not appear to both. Prince Harry has not even completed a university degree, and by the age of 35, it is impossible to get a number through his express entry. Anyway, being a Permanent Resident or Citizen of Canada for Prince Harry and Meghan would mean becoming ‘King’s subjects.’ Being a resident of England, they can stay without a Visa for up to six months, but how long will they keep going back and forth? Our Immigration Minister has the right to make anyone a Permanent Resident under certain circumstances. Will this open the way for the Royal couple? Why not? If the 19 year-old girl who fled from Saudi Arabia’s strict regime was welcomed by then Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland at the Toronto Pearson Airport, why not do something for the Royal family children. Just another couple on the trail, but recognizable nonetheless.