The Minister of Justice and MLA for Steinbach, Kelvin Goertzen talks about his reaction when he heard of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s passing Thursday afternoon.
“Well, you know everybody understood that she'd been dealing with health issues for the last little while, so everyone, I think, had a sense that this day might come. But it's still shocking when it comes because for the vast majority of us, we've only ever known one, head of the monarchy, and that's Queen Elizabeth II. So, it is going to be, you know, shocking for people. There will be a sense of adjustment, but I think also, there will be a sense of reflection because they'll reflect on their remembrances of the Queen. Of the times in which she reigned and ruled, and of all the different things that have happened in the context of her life and by extension, in our life as well.”
When asked about how the Queen was involved in the day-to-day life of a Manitoban, Goertzen says, our lives were more affected by her than we probably realized.
“You know, just a few days ago we made an announcement in Steinbach about having a Court of Queen's Bench Administrative Centre in Steinbach. Well, at some point these names are going to change to Court of King's Bench, and so on.”
“I think the realization will come when people notice there is now a King in place. So, I hope that they notice that. You know, what I get from Canadians and from Manitobans, and there's lots of views of the Monarchy over the last many years, but the Queen always seemed to stand apart from that.”
Goertzen continues, “For whatever reason, I think I might have my own view about why the Queen was respected. I think, even those who may not felt an attachment to the monarchy or considered themselves monarchist, they still respected Queen Elizabeth in a certain way.”
Goertzen tries to summarize the Queen’s reign.
“When I think about her reign, I think about two things, and they're related.
One is that she had a real commitment to service, into duty. She really understood that she had a duty to fulfill and was always going to put everything she could into the fulfillment of that duty. And that sometimes feels like it comes from a time gone by that sense of duty and commitment to duty, but it's an important value.
And the other thing is resiliency and its related to duty.
I know, as an elected official, and I think anybody in public office would say, that sometimes that sense of resiliency is difficult, especially over the last two years or different times. The Queen would have reigned over times of war and economic depression and personal family tragedy, but she continued to show resiliency and continued on in that duty. And sometimes for no other reason than that, you respect somebody. They've gone through a lot and they continue to show that sense of resiliency in that sense of duty, despite all the challenges around them. And I think that people will look back on the reign of Queen Elizabeth and go, “She really had a sense of duty. And she was an incredibly resilient woman.”