After news broke of King Charles III’s cancer diagnosis, Canadians used sarcasm as a tool to remind the likes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford of their duty to fix the current health care crisis gripping the nation.
On Monday, Buckingham Palace announced the British monarch is being treated for cancer, which was discovered about a week ago when doctors treated him for an enlarged prostate. The Monarchy did not specify the form of cancer.
As the news of the 75-year-old’s cancer diagnosis spread, Canadians from all walks of life, including key politicians, shared their well wishes online while hoping for the King to recover soon.
“I, like Canadians across the country and people around the world, am thinking of His Majesty King Charles III as he undergoes treatment for cancer. We’re sending him our very best wishes — and hoping for a fast and full recovery,” Trudeau posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Joining the prime minister, Ford also expressed his concern over the latest development in the Royal Family affairs, wishing for a fast recovery.
On behalf of the people of Ontario, I wish His Majesty a fast return to good health.
God save the King! https://t.co/BrmFx2lNtf
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) February 5, 2024
‘From King to pauper’: Canadians wonder if the King could survive in Ontario
Many Canadians joined their elected officials in sharing positive messages for the King’s deteriorating health, while simultaneously taking a swipe at Ford and Trudeau for the current abysmal state of the health care system in Canada.
“Good thing he’s not seeking treatment in Ontario. Costs would reduce him from King to pauper. He’s also 75 so he doesn’t have time to wait for specialists and treatment,” replied an X user to Ford’s post.
“With no family doctors, day long waits to see a doctor in emerge and then multiple days for a hospital bed, he'd be screwed. Just like the rest of us are!” chimed in another.
I'd say lucky he doesn't have to access the healthcare you provide, but he's wealthy so under the privatization your embarking us on, he'd be just fine.
— morecowbell11 (@morecowbell11) February 5, 2024
The health-care system in the province of Ontario has seen hospital workers come under immense pressure since being exacerbated by demand following the COVID-19 pandemic so much so that a union is now warning of the staffing crisis reaching a "breaking point."
According to the province's independent fiscal watchdog, Ford's government needs to add more than 86,000 nurses and personal support workers by 2028 to get back to pre-pandemic staff levels and meet commitments to expand hospitals, home care and long-term care.
‘Drop the Monarchy’: Canadians urge Trudeau as support dwindles for the Royals
Trudeau’s post on X received similar responses, only in larger numbers with more and more Canadians expressing their frustrations. It was over a diverse set of issues ranging from Canada’s position on the current Middle East crisis costing civilian lives in the Gaza Strip, to axing the carbon tax, to unaffordable housing and the crippling health-care systems across the country.
Hey I am thinking of him too but about the fact that he found out about cancer and can start treatment the next day. Can we Canadians have that too? You agree all lives are equally precious do you?
— blkp🔻 (@blkpaws) February 5, 2024
However, what stood out among public reactions was the unified voice behind urging Trudeau to "drop the Monarchy" and "saving money" to use internally for Canadians.
Maybe a good time to drop the monarchy? Seeing as they just take more money out our country to royals that mean nothing to us?
— Carlo Spinello (@hrdbofficial) February 6, 2024
I, like Canadians across the country and people around the world, am thinking about how much money we can save when we stop supporting a foreign monarchy.
— Celtics Canada 🇨🇦 🏀 🇮🇱 (@CelticsCanada) February 6, 2024
A poll conducted by Leger from September 2023 suggests a slide in the support for the monarchy in Canada.
The survey shows 63 per cent of Canadians believe the country should rethink ties to King Charles III, which is up 7 percentage points since March. The same survey also notes that 81 per cent of respondents said they don't feel attached to the monarchy, compared to 14 per cent who said they did.