Cools defends monarchy

Published May 1, 1999

Senator Anne Cools holds up one of the many Bibles she keeps in her Parliament Hill office and often quotes from during Senate speeches.


If Senator Anne Cools is ever asked to swear on a stack of Bibles, she’ll be prepared. The outspoken Liberal senator from Toronto Centre, an Anglican, keeps several versions of the Bible on a bookshelf in her Parliament Hill office and is known to quote from them during speeches in the Upper Chamber.

“Romans, Chapter 12, verse 5, King James Version tells us: ?So we, being many, are one body in Christ and every one members one of another,'” she said in a Senate speech Feb. 11. She was speaking in defense of the monarchy, in particular Queen Elizabeth II, and repeating points she had made in a homily four days earlier at the Cathedral Church of St. James of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto.

“My mother was a Methodist, and a strong Methodist, too,” said the Barbados-born Ms. Cools, whose father was a Catholic. “I share this because I understand so well that, even with the whole force of truth, with righteousness and judiciousness on one’s side, and even with every rational argument and the powers of moving eloquence on one’s side, victory and justice are uncertain and often elusive, even fleeting, for reasons that we all know.”

In her 15 years as a senator to date, Ms. Cools has earned a reputation as being a staunch, no-nonsense defender of the monarchy, conservative family values, religious education, and even the Senate itself. Those who call for abolition of the Red Chamber, regardless of political stripe, may expect to be accused of “constitutional vandalism,” or of being advocates of “acts of mischief.” Parliament without the Queen or without the Senate is not a Parliament, she maintains. The Parliament of Canada is indivisible just as Canada is indivisible, says Ms. Cools.

The service in St. James Cathedral was in celebration of the 47th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne on Feb. 6, 1952, and included a reception hosted by the Monarchist League of Canada. It was “magnificent,” said Ms. Cools. The music was “spectacular” under the director of music Dr. Giles Bryant and the organist Christopher Dawes.

Senator Cools invited all senators to “celebrate the great things in Canada and in our lives more often, in praise and in song and in prayer.” And if they need a Bible, Ms. Cools, with her collection, just may be able to accommodate them.


  • Art Babych

    Art is the former editor of Crosstalk, the newspaper of the Anglican diocese of Ottawa.

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