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Trudeau says Charles is ‘deeply aligned’ with Canadian priorities on environment, reconciliation

May 7, 2023

Canadian envoy in London says ‘serious discussion’ underway about potential royal visit

See the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, arrive at the coronation of King Charles alongside his wife,  Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, on a misty, foggy Saturday in London. Also seen are Gov. Gen Mary Simon and her husband, Whit Fraser.
Members of the Canadian delegation to the coronation of King Charles attend the ceremony in London, England, on Saturday. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

CBC News: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he think Canada’s new head of state is aligned with the priorities of many Canadians on issues like the environment and reconciliation with Indigenous people. Trudeau and a group of other Canadians — including Gov. Gen. Mary Simon — attended the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, and the prime minister spoke to media before departing home to Canada on Sunday.

Trudeau said he knew Charles as “someone who has been deeply committed to protecting and preserving nature, as someone who has shown a remarkable opennesss, understanding of the challenges of the colonial history that the Crown has been wrapped up in.” “The work that he has done in reaching out to Indigenous leaders over the past number of years, including again this week, I think it shows that he is deeply aligned with some of the really fundamental priorities of Canadians.”

Charles’s accession to the throne has been met with a lukewarm response in much of the country, with polling suggesting that a majority of Canadians support not recognizing him as head of state. Trudeau said last week that while there was plenty of conversation around whether to get rid of the monarchy in Canada, he saw little agreement on what the alternative would be and Canadians were focused on other things.

And Simon told CBC’s The House, in an interview that aired Saturday, that Canadians should give Charles a chance to prove himself as King.

Missed the coronation of King Charles? See the highlights

WATCH | What happened at the coronation of King Charles:

King Charles was crowned, alongside his wife Queen Camilla, in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Saturday. See highlights from the ceremony — and the moment the newly crowned King greeted the public from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Click on the following link to view the video:

John Craig, a professor of British and English history at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, said most Canadians likely don’t think about the monarchy much at all. “Apart from the odd visit from one member of the working royal family or another, it seems totally remote from people’s lives,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press. However, Craig also said he doesn’t sense a “real groundswell of interest” for changing Canada’s constitutional arrangement, from either citizens or politicians.

Discussions around 1st visit as King

Canadians got a first hand look at Charles when the then-prince toured Canada with his wife, Camilla, in 2021. The two toured Newfoundland and Labrador, Ottawa and the Northwest Territories. It’s unclear when the King will make his next visit to Canada. Speaking to CBC’s Power & Politics on Friday, Canada’s top envoy to the U.K. said he believed the trip would happen “relatively quickly.”

“I know there is serious conversation going on right now about when the first available date would be for a journey to Canada,” said Ralph Goodale.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told CBC News on Saturday that he hoped a trip would take place soon. “They’ve been to Canada many times, but it will be a different feeling to have His Majesty on Canadian soil as the crowned King of Canada,” said LeBlanc, whose father Roméo LeBlanc was Governor General from 1995 to 1999.

King, Indigenous leaders meet

Members of the Canadian government were keen to emphasize the fact that Charles had met, just prior to his coronation, with the leaders of the three major national Indigenous groups in Canada. The meeting was facilitated by Gov. Gen. Simon, who in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live Sunday said that the participants had discussed — though with few details — the possibility of an official apology by the Crown for its role in colonization and the residential school system in Canada.

Simon said she did not know whether an apology and any subsequent action would happen, noting that previous official apologies — such as from the Canadian government in 2008 with regards to residential schools — were years in the making.

King Charles should get to know Canadians further, Governor General says

WATCH | Governor General discusses meeting between King and Indigenous leaders:

Canada’s Gov. Gen. Mary Simon says King Charles III knows the issues Canadians are facing but should engage with citizens to reaffirm the role of the Royal Family.

Click on the following link to view the video:

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done and we all recognize that,” Simon said. “But to begin in a positive way and to keep moving forward, I think it’s the important part of it, because that is part of reconciliation.”

Indigenous leaders left the meeting Thursday calling it “productive” and “positive,” and marking an inflection point in the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous people. “When speaking with the King today, I mentioned something from one of my elders, who said that relationships are built over 100 cups of tea,” said Métis National Council President Cassidy Caron. 

“Today, we had our first cup of tea, to build that relationship, to identify our common and shared priorities moving forward, to find ways of working together that will create real, tangible change in our communities.”


Christian Paas-Lang, Journalist

Christian Paas-Lang covers federal politics for CBC News in Ottawa as an associate producer with The House and a digital writer with CBC Politics. You can reach him at

With files from The Canadian Press and CBC News