It was early June of 2015. Canada was in the final month leading to its audacious 150th birthday celebrations. The whole year had been a celebration. The people and companies alike were keen to show their patriotism. Notably, the government opened up all its parks, free to the public; and Canada has some beautiful national parks.
In such celebration, my anticipation for the big day on July 1st was at a fever pitch. You could feel it in the fresh summer air that this was going to be a big one. Canada Day for me was always an exciting time for me. As one does when they're excited (or maybe just for nerds like me), I started to look up fun facts about my country. Did you know that dog food is deductible on Canadian taxes? Me neither! Out of all the fun things I learned, there was one thing that stood out to me.
You see, Canadians are given the privilege to certain ceremonial and culturally significant objects. For example, the flag flown on the Peace Tower at Canadian Parliament is changed daily. By request of the government, you can be the proud owner of said flag. So long as you're patient, that is. The wait time to receive one of these flags currently exceeds 100 years! Another culturally significant object that is granted to Canadians upon request is a portrait of our Head of State.
No! Not Justin Trudeau! The Queen!
That's right, according to The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Queen Elizabeth II is Canada's Head of State. Not only that, but she is also our Commander and Chief. Although, she never uses her powers unless requested by Parliament, so essentially, she is just a figure head.
But that's right, each Canadian is granted, upon request, a portrait of Her Majesty, Queen of Canada.
Seeing as Canada was reaching its sesquicentennial (yes, really) anniversary, I thought it would be the perfect time to request one myself. Seeing as it was a serious matter, being Canada's Head of State, I knew I needed to write the perfect and most respectable of emails to Canada's Heritage Department. When matters of the Queen were being discussed, proper etiquette is required. So I cracked my knuckles and wrote out the best email I've ever had the pleasure of writing to our government. I demanded my birth right as a Canadian and proudly asked. The letter went as followed:
To whom it may concern,
It has come to my attention that, as a citizen of Canada, it is my national right to own a portrait of Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada, and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. As I believe it is my civic duty, I would like a copy of Her portrait sent to the address of [REDACTED], post haste.
The immediacy of this transaction is of great importance to me as I would like for Her to stand proud and with true patriot love above my microwave preferably before Canada's 150.
I thank you wholeheartedly for your consideration. I shall promptly await my portrait.
As a writer, I was quite proud of this email. It held just the right level of formality and playfulness which is my bread and butter. It was an email that would make a beaver shed tears. I hope that whoever was given the pleasure of reading this email has it hung up in the lunchroom (or better yet, Queen Elizabeth's lunch room).
And you will all be happy to know that it arrived just in time. Sadly, however, she was damaged. Canada Post didn't treat her nearly as well as she deserved and as a result, there is damage right along the bottom of her dress. She did stand above my microwave with true patriot love in time for Canada's 150, which was the real goal.
That marks the end of the story of how I demanded from my government a portrait of the Queen. Have any of you ever done something silly like this with your government? I'd like to hear about it if you have.