Monarchists concerned as government stops sending prints of Queen’s portrait to Canadians

Marie-Danielle SmithMarie-Danielle Smith

In a move the Monarchist League of Canada decries as “unhelpful” to Canadian identity, the federal government is no longer sending prints of the Queen’s portrait to Canadians who request them.

Although images of Her Majesty are still available to download, the League, which hitherto helped Canadian Heritage distribute physical copies, is concerned that the nation’s smaller communities could suffer since not all have access to lithographic printing facilities.

“Over the years, we’ve distributed thousands of them,” said the organization’s chairman, Robert Finch, on Wednesday, lamenting that only a few print copies of a “rumoured new picture” are expected to be made available within the government. He added, “I don’t want to beat up on Heritage, because they have been a great partner.”

After putting out a press release Wednesday that points out Heritage’s quiet decision to stop offering lithos, Finch said there’s always hope the government will reverse its decision, or at least come up with alternatives. “In my last conversations with them we talked about us possibly getting some print copies that we could continue to distribute,” he said. “But we’re also exploring options for ourselves, for us to print them as well.”

To date the League has distributed the portraits to members of the public but also through “giveaways at public events,” he said, such as at citizenship ceremonies and local fairs.

The government’s decision, Finch suspects, has to do with its overall “digital strategy” and its attempts to be “greener” — which he supports. “Maybe they are appealing to a demographic who is much more inclined to download versus print, I could certainly see that,” he mused.

A spokeswoman for Canadian Heritage said the decision was taken after “careful study, taking into account escalating costs and the environmental impact.

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