Sidney’s acting mayor Peter Wainright said he is surprised to field questions about the town’s decision to remove a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II from council chambers. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney’s acting mayor Peter Wainright said he is surprised to field questions about the town’s decision to remove a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II from council chambers. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

LETTER: Queen’s portrait may seem a quaint symbol, but remains a reminder of key values

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Before we send the Queen’s portrait to recycling, let’s slow down a bit and reflect upon some the things represented by the Crown and the development of responsible government, which started long before we became a fully independent nation.

The democratic values that colonial Canada inherited from Britain, and which continued to evolve during our own formation, were essentially beyond any day-to-day politics. They represented things we might even go to war over, if required: Fair and equal justice, rule of law, peace and order, representation, respect for differing opinions, and yes, even for institutions like local government – just to name a few. In terms of First Nations, however, it was a different time, and historical mistakes were made when some of these rights were not always extended to everyone in society.

Although the Queen’s portrait may now seem like a quaint symbol of the past, it remains a reminder of these values – and going forward – their powerful ability to provide the framework for respectful dialogue, understanding, and then real, positive change.

Jeff Stanhope

North Saanich