Canada no longer needs Queen: Manley

A senior federal cabinet minister is once again calling on Canada to break its historic ties with the British monarchy.

As some people prepared to celebrate the Victoria Day weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister John Manley argued it's time to have a Canadian as head of state.

"I do believe when most people think about it and realize our head of state is foreign when she travels she doesn't represent Canada, she represents Great Britain," Manley told CBC radio.

"I think they kind of realize this is really an institution that's a bit out of date for Canada to continue with," he added.

It's not the first time Manley, a member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada since 1993, has called the British monarchy pass.

He made similar comments when he was a member of Prime Minister Jean Chrtien's cabinet in 1997. But it's the first time Manley has spoken out against the monarchy as foreign affairs minister.

Even if Canada keeps Queen Elizabeth in her ceremonial role, Manley said Friday that Prince Charles should not be allowed to become the country's King.

"Having the oldest son inherit the responsibility of being head of state, that's just not something in the 21st century we ought to be entertaining," Manley said.

"That's why it ought to be a person who is Canadian, who reflects Canadian diversity, and who is chosen by Canadians."

Thursday night, Chrtien appeared on a national television talk show and joked about being the only royalist in Quebec.

Manley predicted there's a good chance that Britain, itself, will decide to get rid of the monarchy in the next few years.

In a national referendum in 1999, Australia voted to keep its commonwealth links to the royal family rejecting a proposal to become a republic.