Leaders from Campbell River and the North Island area are reacting to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The queen passed away on Thursday at the age of 96. She was the longest-serving monarch in British history, and was the Canadian head of state.
“In my youth, I had the opportunity to see Queen Elizabeth over the vast crowds when she visited Victoria,” said Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams. “The excitement and respect made for a celebratory experience. What I will remember from her reign is the compassion, understanding, and genuine care for everyone and everything in our world, and that as queen she remained positive and respectful for all, something we could all use a little more of.”
MP Rachel Blaney said that “she was a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother. My love is extended to those who loved her most, which were the family members who were with her at the very end.
“She became a Queen when she was very young, in her mid twenties. She was in that role for 70 years,” Blaney said. “I think most of us, regardless of our opinions on the monarchy, can have respect for a young woman taking on such a pivotal role. She has overseen these past 70 years of significant change to the commonwealth.
“I’m also moved as I watch some of the news about her, how many stories are being told of everyday people of different backgrounds and cultures across Canada who have met with her and how touched they were by her presence.
“There’s something to be said about somebody who listened and learned with grace to all those that she met. I always reflect on the fact that she has been in the public eye from the moment she came into this position. I think about the impact that that would have,” Blaney said. “Obviously there was a certain amount of privilege that came with the role, but also the lack of privacy. Everything that happened in her life was public. Agree or disagree with the monarchy, there is an element of sacrifice that goes with being in these roles.”
The Campbell River RCMP detachment posted on Facebook: “for over 70 years Queen Elizabeth reigned over the British Commonwealth and was the ‘Royal’ in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. On this the day of her passing, the Campbell River RCMP would like to salute her service… Rest In Peace our Queen.”
Flags at Campbell River School District schools were all lowered to half-staff.
North Island MLA Michele Babchuk offered her condolences to the Royal Family, saying “I know they’re recognized world-wide, but they are a family and they will be grieving her loss, I’m sure.
“I was saddened, and I think British Columbians were deeply saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. She’s not only the longest-reigning monarch, but the longest-reigning female monarch. She left a huge impact on society. She led through some really difficult times as a monarch for that whole 70 years. She will be missed,” Babchuk said. “World wars, cold wars, recessions, all of that. There were some really difficult times that she reigned through.”
She also said that the queen had a important impact on the North Island riding when she dedicated the Great Bear Rainforest in 2016.
Strathcona Regional District chair Brad Unger offered the following statement on behalf of the SRD: “I would like to express our deepest condolences to the Royal Family and the entire Commonwealth on the passing of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Today we remember and admire her 70 years of dedication to public service.”