After 6 days post-Fiona, some 45,000 Islanders are still without electricity in PEI. The electrical company Maritime Electric does not give any timeline. The main reason is the amount of damaged due to fallen trees, there are so many it is mind boggling. Some 500 telephone poles carrying the high voltage lines collapse and must now be replaced and this takes time. The main garbage collection and recycle centres are receiving on the hour and every hour hundreds of cars carrying all the food stuff spoiled which will be burned. The tourist season is at an abrupt end, though the port of Charlottetown would love to have the cruise ships return next week. We all know this is pure nonsense, there is nothing to see but devastation, are we now into natural disaster tourism? Our Provincial Government and Municipal authorities had no plan despite saying otherwise. It is up to people to get resourceful and organized. It is embarrassing for some of us who got our power back on Sunday afternoon the day after Fiona while just a few feet away on our street neighbours have nothing. We offered to help out by brewing coffee and laundry.
The weather since the Fiona has been lovely, sunny and warm.
So today is Friday, I started to write this post on Thursday night. Hopefully by Monday Morning everyone will have electricity. Funny how we are so dependent on electricity for heating, internet, phone, ATM, refrigerating food, life in general.
Some people are pushing the notion that we should promote disaster tourism, come to PEI see the devastation and beaches ruined, are forests flattened, people struggling. Some politicians claim that we will be ok not to worry. Behind this train of thought is profits, greed. It is bad enough that some operators are soaking the tourists for every dollar. Sad situation and I am glad I am not a tourist. This was the worst storm ever to hit this Island province in our history. Storms are getting worse each year because of Climate Change and our geography does not help. Ian now is coming, we are hoping that it will only be some rain showers. However the crops are rotting in the soil turned to mud by Fiona, farmers are desperate and some will probably leave farming all together.
Well the clean up continues in PEI and there is a lot to do and it will take months to fix it all. Sadly some majestic ancient trees were lost, most 125 yrs old. That will change the perspective on many streets of old Charlottetown but more so in the countryside, beaches and all national park where forests have been flattened, it is difficult to imagine but that is the reality of it all. Today Tuesday still 65,000 people are out of power, 4 days after the storm, meaning no hot food or drink, it is dark at 6pm and no access to phone, internet etc.
The big news this week was the new Cypher of the King, each sovereign has it’s own cypher which appears on Coats of Arms, military badges, all Official State Documents, coins, Royal flags, etc. The big difference this time is that King Charles III has decided to use the Tudor Crown instead of the Crown of St-Edward his mother used on her cypher.
The coat of Arms of Canada for the last 70 years used the late Queen’s Cypher with the Crown of St-Edward, now all this has to change. The cypher is a personal signature of the Sovereign and represents the authority of the Monarch.
The Tudor Crown, also known as Henry VIII’s Crown, was the imperial and state crown used by the monarchs of England and Great Britain from the time of Henry VIII up to the English Civil War in 1649. It was described by the art historian Sir Roy Strong as “a masterpiece of early Tudor jeweller’s art”
Thankfully, Henry VIII servants wrote detailed inventories which documented the construction of the crown and we owe our stunningly accurate replica entirely to them.
Their inventories documented the size and position of each of the 344 rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds and pearls, along with the five sculptures that decorate it.
A portrait of Charles I, painted by Daniel Mytens in 1631, serves as a clear visual record of the shape of the crown and the patterns created by the hundreds of jewels and pearls.
Harry Collins, Crown Jeweller (2007-2012), and his team of skilled goldsmiths were able to take our research and, largely using the same techniques as their Tudor predecessors, create a very accurate replica of Henry VIII’s crown at Hampton Court.
The Tudor Crown Imperial has been hand-crafted in silver gilt with fine metalwork detail – the original was made from 84oz of gold.
The rubies, sapphires, emeralds, cultured pearls and rock crystal have been selected to reflect the colour and shape differences we see in existing late medieval jewellery, ensuring the crown looks as spectacular and authentic as possible.
For the coronation of King Charles III at Westminster, it will be interesting to see what changes He brings, it was said that He was looking for a more simple updated service than the one His late Mother had in 1953. I would speculate that the Crown of St-Edward will be used as per tradition for the actual moment of crowning and afterwards the Imperial State Crown used at Parliament.
In Canada if you look at buildings of the period prior to 1953 you will see the Tudor Crown sculpted. After 1953 it is the Crown of St-Edward. The cypher below has the letter C for Charles, R for the latin Rex (King) and the roman numeral 3. This is the new official cypher to be used from now on.
If you look at the Coat of Arms of Canada you will see the crown is that of St-Edward. That will have to be changed in the coming months.
What is interesting the Kingdom of Scotland also has its own new cypher featuring the Crown of Scotland dating to 1540 and kept at Edinburg Castle to be used in all official documents in Scotland only.
We had been warned all of last week that Fiona was coming, it was to be an historical storm never before seen in the Atlantic Provinces ( Nova-Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoudland), indeed it was history and a horror show. The worst parts was the direct hit in Cape Breton which is an isolated area and in Newfoundland in Port aux Basques where 20 houses where swept out to sea by the raging surf. Incredible to see sand dunes on the North beaches of PEI simply washed out like sugar, where beaches use to be covered with sand dunes now it is a flat even surface, a lot of severe erosion everywhere on the North side of the Island caused by the left hook tail of the hurricane. Thousands of trees destroyed and property damaged. North Rustico suffered greatly and its famous lobster harbour damaged my the surf and giant waves never seen before. At one point 95% of the Island population was without electricity. Flooding was also severe everywhere, Charlottetown where we live had deep water pockets at major intersections, driving was difficult, enough water to float a car away and drown your motor. People had been told repeatedly to stay home, everything was closed, nothing worked, you could not pump gas because of power cuts, no ATM machines worked, phones landlines were dead, no internet, and no cel phones either. We lost power at home around 5:30pm on Friday all of a sudden, due to a tree falling on an electric line. No power until Sunday at 4:00pm. when our area of town, which is considered strategic by the government Prince and Water streets and Riverside Drive were the first to get power back. But as of writing this tonight, an estimated 77,000 people are still without power and it may take 3 weeks to re-establish the electrical connection due to severe damage caused by falling trees and remote rural area.
The worst part of FIONA was after 10pm Friday night when the wind coming from the North suddenly raged across the Island and the sky had frequent flashes of white light. The rain was also violent lashing at buildings and shredding the leaves off the trees. In our neighbourhood we had many giant trees, some 125 years old. many were weak with disease and should have been cut down years ago. They were the first to fall blocking streets with their huge trunks, some trees are 60 feet long or more, luckily most fell in the street and not on houses. Though one friend of ours had one such old tree fall directly on his house and split the building in two. Our friend is uninjured, not a scratch, a miracle. Charlottetown without its old trees will look very different. The same can be said of many nature areas and national parks where Fiona devastated large areas to the point where it is not safe to go there and will not be for years to come.
We were lucky, yes the major inconvenience was the lack of electricity and this meant eating only cold food and drinking water. Funny how not having tea or coffee for 3 days becomes a major problem. Our front door is also electric, it opens automatically when approached, now we had to remember to bring our keys at all time to open the door. Many friends sent us messages but we could not answer, could not phone anyone, nothing got through.
I did go out once Friday night just before the rain and wind arrived to walk the dogs, they could smell something ominous in the air, and the air did have a heavy smell of seaweed which is unusual. After that on Saturday at the height of it all, it was impossible to leave the house with all the debris flying around, so they had to use the south balcony which is protected and out of the way. Still they did not like it at all.
Finally by Saturday 5pm the worst had passed us and the wind started to fall rapidly and the rain stopped all together. Saturday night was bright with stars and only a light wind, at the same time the city was in complete darkness, no street lights, nothing. It was so dark you could not see pass your nose. It was also eery no sounds, no cars, no one anywhere. I did venture out with a flashlight to walk the dogs at that point but stayed close to the house and did not venture far, afraid of down power lines and big tree branches dangling over head.
The brightness of the sun and the clear blue sky on Sunday morning was dazzling. I did finally get a coffee at the Holman Grand Hotel, they have a very good restaurant, they were on their generator and gave out very good coffee to anyone asking. The Confederation Centre for the Arts also offered to recharge your phones for free and also gave out coffee. Both are just 3 blocks away from the house, however I got to see walking on those 3 city blocks an incredible amount of trees totally destroyed, once the area cleaned up there will have to be a plan to re-landscape it all. In the past hurricane Juan in 2003 and hurricane Dorian in 2019 left in the Maritimes a lot of devastation but nothing like Fiona, not even close. All three happened at this time in September. What PEI also needs is a serious infrastructure update, we are not prepared for such disasters and living on an island there is nowhere to go.
Halifax which is 3 hours by car from Charlottetown was the first to get it by Fiona it then moved across to us and then to Newfoundland. I did not hear what happened on Les Iles de la Madeleine which we visited in June, this is nothing more than a sandbank with 12,000 people living there. I will have to look at the French media stories to see what they have to say.
We had media crews here on the island and in typical fashion they travel together and all try to make their stories interesting with the same shots of down trees, always looking for a dramatic angle. This is what I never liked about the media in general. The radio station carried non stop reporting but then it must have been for people outside the region, we had no electricity so how could we hear them?
I did go to my car to recharge my phone at one point and then heard the news and what it was well they phoned people at random asking them to described what they saw. Again the people they phoned obviously where out of the hurricanes range and it was second hand stuff, not very helpful really.
Here are some photos taken today on the streets of Charlottetown.
Today is a holiday in Canada to mourn the late Queen. I did not get up at 05:30am but decided to watch on YouTube and chose the BBC Coverage which is best. I have been a very long time fan of the BBC and BBC World Service, never a CNN fan even in the 1980’s.
I watched the Service from the start at Westminster Hall to the Abbey across the street and then the procession to Wellington Arch where the hearse was waiting to take the coffin to Windsor Castle for the Committal service in St-George’s Chapel. The service in Windsor was simply one of internment much more simple and more sombre. Only Family members, staff and senior military officers attending. The staff of the late Queen were all present. When the hearse arrived the maids, kitchen staff, the footmen, butlers and her two last Corgies Muik and Sandy were present.
There was a difference in the invited crowds in both services. At Westminster Abbey were all the Heads of State 121 in all, Kings and Queens most of whom are cousins of the Royal Family. Did you notice the King of Bulgaria, Serbia, the Queen of Romania, none of them rule but are nonetheless seen by their governments as legitimate and re-established now the Communism is gone. They represented their governments. The other European Royalty like The King of the Netherlands is close to the Royal Family at many family levels and political levels. The Danish Crown, Norway, Sweden also. All the Arab Princes where present. Also many politicians and Staff of the Royal Family. At Westminster it was the State Funeral Service with all the Pomp and ceremony this entails. At Windsor it was subdued and solemn, it was the moment of transition, now the Sovereign is King Charles III. The last act when the Regalia was removed from the coffin and placed on the Altar and then the King deposited the Queen’s company flag on the coffin to indicate the passage of powers and the Chamberlain of the Queen broke his staff in two and placed it on Her coffin to indicate that his service was at an end.
Monday 19 September will be the day we bury Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In Canada, the Prime Minister has decried a once in a lifetime Holiday to mourn the Queen. The PM and the Governor General have already left with their entourage for London. Yesterday at Buckingham Palace, the King and other members of the Royal Family held a reception for all the Governor Generals from the 14 Realms. The Prime Minister had a private audience with the King at the Palace. They know each other well. Canada plays the heavy here, since we are the first Dominion (Kingdom). A large delegation of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP will participate in the Funeral, which is a single honour for Canada. The late Queen closely identified with Canada and some of Her children studied in Canada on top of Her 24 visits/ Opening of Parliament in Ottawa, etc. As Queen, she was The Head of State and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, a title her son the King now assumes.
The Prime Minister’s Office has announced: “The day of Her Late Majesty’s State Funeral in the United Kingdom will be marked in Canada with a National Day of Mourning and a national commemorative ceremony held at Christ Church Cathedral, the Anglican cathedral in Ottawa. The ceremony will be attended by former prime ministers the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney and the Right Honourable Joe Clark, and all Members of Parliament have been invited. The ceremony will be broadcast live for everyone to watch.”
Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as well as the following regiments of the Canadian Armed Forces will participate in the service:
The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery The Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers The Governor General’s Horse Guards The King’s Own Calgary Regiment Royal 22e Régiment (Quebec City) Governor General’s Foot Guards The Canadian Grenadier Guards The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders Le Régiment de la Chaudière The Royal New Brunswick Regiment The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment 48th Highlanders of Canada The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada The Calgary Highlanders Canadian Armed Forces Legal Branch Air Reserve
The Imperial State Crown, the Orb and Sceptre resting on the coffin of Her Late Majesty in Westminster Hall.
We have had daily arrivals of giant cruise ship with thousands of passengers, pollution and garbage, but our politicians say this is so nice and so important to our economy, really? No one in business has spoken favourably of this disgorging of thousands of people for 5 hours daily. The only one that profits are the Port Authority a private corporation, Anne of Green Gables amusement park, and a few cheap souvenir shops.
The weather as been very good and sunny and looks like it is going to continue for a while which is very pleasant. I have to say that I am not sure some days of the month we are in, is it August or September and what day of the week. I am very preoccupied right now with a serious matter and maybe this is why my mind is wandering. I do keep busy with Club business and the new Fiscal year and renewal of the Club membership. Happy with this distraction.
Monday 19 September will be a National Day of Mourning on the occasion of the Funeral of our Late Queen Elizabeth II. In Canada it is a statutory holiday declared by the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Because Canada was the putative home of the Queen, she came 24 times during her life as a Princess and then as Queen, Canada will play a large role in the ceremony with military detachments, the Governor General and the Prime Minister will be present. The Queen knew Justin Trudeau as a child when his father was Prime Minister.
This week also the Conservative party of Canada has elected a new leader who may be popular with his party but not with the population in general, Pierre Poilievre has embraced all manner of right wing extremist movements and individuals. He has been a politician all his life and he closely identifies with Donald Trump. The man believes that his caustic approach will allow him to become Prime Minister, if he wins the election in 2025. That is a long time off and I really do not see it as a possibility, however in politics anything is possible.
To counter him Prime Minister Trudeau has announced several programs which will help millions of Canadians, one is a free dental plan for children, a rental financial supplement for people with low income to allow them to get out of poverty, people who qualify with low income can claim twice the rebate on General service tax (GST). All these measures will make a big difference in the lives of a lot of people. Our new leader of the Opposition Pierre Poilievre who is also known by his nickname Skippy has already said that he does not believe in any of this because he is a conservative. He believes in Freedom, what ever that means. His voting record in the last 20 years in Parliament is telling, he voted against abortion rights, he voted agains any supplements to help the poor, he voted against rights for Trans people and against marriage for gay couples, despite the fact that his own father is gay. Pierre Marcel Poilievre was born June 3, 1979, to a “teenage unwed mother who had just lost her mother,” he said in an interview. He was adopted by French Canadian school teachers from Saskatchewan: “[They] adopted me and raised me and basically gave me a life,” he said. Now in his first news conference he silenced the journalists call them hecklers and took questions for QAnon. Does that remind you of someone south of the border.
Tomorrow Thursday I am taking the 2 puppies for a good grooming in Kensington, so I will be gone most of the day. Nicky is quite blind now and we have to be very careful with him when we go for walks. I am going to go again to the vet to have an assessment made again. I do not think much can be done given his age.
Well it is a blessing in disguise that the tourists are leaving and every day is more quiet. This has been a busy season but overall there have been big problems the PEI Government and the Tourism Board are not willing to admit openly. The biggest crisis is the lack of staff everywhere, forcing restaurants to operate without enough staff in kitchens or on the floor. Many operators have forced staff to work very long hours for little pay and pushed prices up, gouging the tourist for very average product. One example box wine sold as premium bottled wine. Not uncommon to see $12 to $15 for a 5oz glass of vin ordinaire.
Menus have been slashed, keeping only the most expensive items and no dessert is offered, people are pushed out the door as soon as possible. The other down side with the large extension of the docks in the port, now very large cruise ships at 4000 passengers can come in. The city is simply not equipped to deal with thousands of people arriving in one day. Politicians simply continue to do the happy face and hope for even more people. Profits dictates the course of events. We even had some racist incidents and bear spraying of people and drunk driving at high speed on narrow city streets in the tourist area.
One of the major attractions of the City was the Legislative building Province House, it has been closed for 5 years now due to a massive $100 million dollar renovation program long overdue for a 188 year old building. The building will now be closed for one more year as the interior renovation and reconstruction takes place before it can re-open as a Legislature. Built in the Georgian style of the early 1800, it is a beautiful building.
This week the steel skeleton built on the outside to uphold the walls and prevent their collapse were removed. Thousands of stones had to be replaced due to wear and tear. The roof is slate and the flashing copper. All 103 windows also had to be completely restored to keep the original look.
This is the South Side of Province House facing Great George Street and the river. The huts and barricades will come down once the project is completed in 2023.
The North side of Province House facing Great George street and the war memorial.
So yesterday we learned that it will be HM King Charles III and Camilla Queen Consort. That is perfectly fine since it follows the established order of Succession. I have no time for pundits or speculators and their little opinions based on popular culture as to who should succeed the Queen. God knows people wishing for William or Harry and Meghan, after all that has happened? The fact remains that any changes to the order of succession has to come from Parliament at Westminster and no where else, no there is no such thing as passing over someone because the late Queen or someone else thinks that personal popularity is more important. In point of fact, years ago the late Queen started to invest more and more duties and responsibilities on King Charles because she knew that he was the natural successor. Same now with Prince William who is the Heir to the Throne and will see his responsibilities increase dramatically. As for Harry and Meghan well they are out of the picture and may find themselves even more isolated now, unless King Charles decides otherwise.
In Canada, the death of the Queen has affected people, monarchists and non-monarchists, it brings many memories, the Late Queen visited Canada 24 times and 12 Canadian Prime Ministers served during Her 70 year reign. She often expressed her love for Canada and always enjoyed visiting.
This morning I went to Fanningbank, the Lieutenant-Governor of PEI Residence to sign the condolences book and spoke with the Lieutenant-Governor. Most people were tourists who were milling about not aware of where they were or what was going on.
Now the business of change will take place, with new postage stamps, new effigy of the King’s profile on coins and paper money.
The monarch remains the constitutional head of state in this country, no matter who is filling the role at any given time, says Philippe Lagasse, an associate professor of international affairs at Carleton University and an expert on the role of the Crown in the Westminster system of government.
Hence, the succession from the Queen to her eldest son Charles, to be known as King Charles III, is automatic. There is no disruption to governing bodies that sit in her name or to legislation, oaths and other legal documents issued in her name.
“This transition does not require any action on Canada’s part,” Lagasse says.
“The phrase ‘The Queen is dead, long live the King!’ applies here and in the U.K.”
In common law, Lagasse says, the Queen and King are “the same legal person.” That’s because the Crown is what is known as a “corporation sole.”
“This means that, in their official capacity, the legal personality of the Queen (or) King does not change when different natural persons hold the position.
“That further means that any legal documents and instruments issued in the name of the Queen or that mention the Queen will apply and be understood to be from the King.”
That includes oaths of allegiance to the monarch, which are required in a host of cases, including becoming a member of Parliament or a member of the Canadian Armed Forces or a Canadian citizen.
“So, there’s no need to re-swear or re-sign anything,” Lagasse says.
the Parliament of Canada Act expressly states that “Parliament shall not determine or be dissolved by the demise of the Crown and, notwithstanding the demise, shall continue, and may meet, convene and sit, proceed and act, in the same manner as if that demise had not happened.”
Similarly, oaths of allegiance to the Queen have been changed to include the words “and her heirs and successors,” explicitly doing away with the need to re-swear an oath to the new monarch after her death.
Provinces and territories have all adopted similar provisions.
For instance, Canada’s Privy Council, which includes all current and former cabinet ministers, is expected to meet when a new monarch ascends the throne. The governor general, the Crown’s representative in Canada, must also issue a proclamation on the new monarch.
“It is important to note, however, that this step merely affirms what has already occurred in law,” says Lagasse.
There are also a number of protocols surrounding the official 10-day mourning period. It will culminate in a funeral service in London, which Commonwealth prime ministers and governors general are expected to attend.
Flags are already at half mast on official government buildings, including the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, and members of the federal cabinet sported black ribbons on Thursday afternoon to commemorate the loss.
I also listened to the King’s first live address from Buckingham Palace today, a tribute to his mother and the formal announcement that Camilla, his wife of 17 years is now Queen Consort and his son William and Catherine are now Prince and Princess of Wales. He has received a rapturous welcome upon his arrival at the Palace from the large crowd. I believe that King Charles III will be a good Sovereign.
This afternoon Buckingham Palace announced the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral where her children and family had gathered. The gathering was a sure sign that all was not well and something was going to happen.
The news came and like many, I was in disbelief, Queen Elizabeth is the only monarch I have known all my life. Will had known King George VI her father. I went to the Club to lower the Canadian Flag at half-mast. For me as a former Foreign Service Officer, my commission came from the Queen as Consul of Canada and Counsellor. Meaning that I took an Oath of Office which was my link to the Sovereign. I greatly admired her and all she did. She was a remarkable woman.
Our new King is Charles III, being in the natural line of succession and his wife Camilla is now Queen Consort as announced some months ago by the late Queen Elizabeth. The transition to Charles started many years ago and Charles had taken a great deal of responsibilities and I am confident that he will do very well as King, wishing him all the best.
Her son King Charles III said the death of his beloved mother was a “moment of great sadness” for him and his family and that her loss would be “deeply felt” around the world. In Canada many admired our Queen and her devotion to service and duty. Canada as a nation changed a lot during her reign.
On the Queen’s death, Prince William and his wife, Catherine, became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall. He is now the Heir to the Throne.
Well we arrived at our rented cottage on Cape Road in French River and the weather was hot and glorious. The view is perfect from dawn to sunset and so quiet, a luxury this quiet and peace. Left Charlottetown just in time, learned this morning that on our street about a block away there was a botched attempt at a contract killing, hit and run style, the police caught the guy red handed, a drunk Ontarian. Then apparently someone was spraying people with bear spray in the area of the pubs. Not surprised the tourist crowd is getting rowdier by the Season and no amount of complaining to the Mayor or the Chief of Police will achieve anything, you just get ignored.
The drive out of town was fast as always down HWY 2 to Kensington and to the right to Cape Road. This area is the actual birthplace of author Lucy Maude Montgomery and you can visit the house in which she was born, it’s very small but cute and her grandparents home and farm where she grew up. Mother died when she was just a few months old and father left for Western Canada, so grandparents took care of her.
French river is an actual port for fishers who got out to sea for lobster and also an area for mussel farming.
Love walking the beach here, it is very quiet, you meet neighbours who live around the area. Very few tourists, nothing here to attract them. Farms also, milk cows, beef, hay, potatoes. Lots of very old protestant churches 1760 era, mostly presbyterians and anglicans.
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown