Quebec lawmaker blasts 'parasitic' royals
An outspoken Quebec lawmaker launched a verbal assault Tuesday on Britain's Prince William and his new bride Catherine, deriding the "parasitic" royal system and equating their upcoming Canada visit with a circus show.
Quebec's government immediately demanded an apology from Amir Khadir, an Iranian-born legislator from the left-leaning Quebec Solidaire party in the National Assembly of Quebec.
He had complained to journalists that Canadians will have to foot much of the bill for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first trip abroad as newlyweds.
"A nation worthy of the 21st Century has no need for a monarchy or people with a bloodline," said Khadir, the only MP of his small pro-sovereignty party.
"It is a parasitic system that was inherited from ancient times," he added.
He went further, comparing the young couple's visit to a "circus tour" and criticizing the government of the mainly French-speaking province of Quebec for arguing that the event helps promote tourism.
"If this is a tourist attraction, I would at least appreciate it if the stakeholders involved knew that we are bringing them here kind of like we do with circus tours," Khadir said.
The comments drew immediate condemnation from lawmakers, including Quebec deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau, who demanded Khadir apologize.
"Being at odds does not excuse being impolite," the province's Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Pierre Moreau said.
William and Catherine are due to visit Canada June 30 to July 8. The royals will spend two days in Quebec, where security will be beefed up for their visit, according to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, as Quebec nationalists are expected to protest the royals' stop there.
The entire visit will cost Canadian taxpayers just under $2 million, Moore said.
© 2011 AFP