Dear SD43 families,
As you know, BC Premier John Horgan and Deputy Minister of Education and Child Care Christina Zacharuk, have announced that all K-12 schools will be closed Monday, September 19, 2022, for a National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, Sovereign of Canada. Today in the House of Commons, Parliament of Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, leaders of all federal parties, and members of Parliament paid tribute to the Queen. Her funeral at Westminster Abbey in London, England will be attended by royalty, heads of state, and will include our prime minister, governor general, high commissioner, former prime ministers, former governors general, former high commissioner, representatives of the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapirit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council, members of the RCMP, representatives of regiments of the Canadian Armed Forces, members of the Order of Canada, and a Cross of Valour recipient.
While the announcement of cancellation of classes can be a challenge to many families, on this historic occasion we are also afforded the opportunity to learn more about an incredibly influential woman and her role on the world stage, as well as more about the Canadian Government and its structure.
For most, Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch of Canada they know, and Her Majesty has always had a special relationship with Canada. Canada is a constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Like most members of the Commonwealth, Canada is a former colony of the British Empire and, as such, is currently in a state of introspection as we reconcile our shared history into our modern identity. Queen Elizabeth has been widely recognized for her dedicated service to Canada and the Commonwealth in addition to her global leadership. She devoted her life to public service and fulfilling her duty for more than 70 years. For many, Her Majesty was a consistent source of stability in a rapidly changing modern world and she continued to offer a platform of hope through difficult times. Often her messages included optimism and encouragement to 'pull together' and accomplish what had to be done, a concept proudly ingrained in Canada's collective psyche.
King Charles III has ascended to the throne and is now the King of Canada and our country's head of state. In this new era, there is new hope for the continued prosperity and strengthening of our nation and its citizens. Canada enjoys one of the strongest democracies in the world and I encourage each of you to learn about our system of government, inform yourself about current issues, and participate in our democratic system both locally, provincially, and federally at every opportunity.