OTTAWA – In addition to a federal holiday, transit pauses, and school and court closures, Canada plans to carry out an extra tribute to its beloved former head of state during her funeral by turning off all ventilators in the country for one second for each year of Queen Elizabeth’s long life.
“Canada will do everything it can to honour this extraordinary woman,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when announcing the ventilator memorial plan. “One second of breath for each year of Elizabeth’s life isn’t so much to ask. These patients don’t even have to do anything, monarchist volunteers will take care of it. For some reason, every nurse and doctor refused to participate.”
While the plan was initially for all Canadians to stop breathing for 96 seconds, business owners complained that if their workers were holding their breath productivity would go down and employees passing out could further diminish profits. A compromise was reached when business leaders and politicians realized that there was a group of Canadians who could be forced to stop breathing to celebrate the Queen without any detrimental effects on the economy.
“Of course, Canadians not on ventilators and not at work who wish to hold their breath for the Queen are welcome and encouraged to do so,” Trudeau said. “It’s only mandatory for people who have no other breathing options.”
The plan to turn off ventilators as a tribute to the Queen has been met with a mixed response. The monarchists who will be carrying out the plan are applauding Canada’s devotion to the deceased royal while family members of patients on ventilators are less enthusiastic about the plan.
“Dad never liked the monarchy, it just seems kind of unfair for the government to force him to pay tribute, of any kind, to something he despised,” said Lily Walters, a Vancouverite whose 76-year-old father George is currently on a ventilator due to COVID. “But his doctor says brain damage is unlikely to set in before 240 seconds without oxygen, so at least there’s that.”
“I really wish I could be here when they turn off the ventilator to ensure they turn it back on after 96 seconds, but because the B.C. government is also closing schools on that day, I can’t find a babysitter.”
Meanwhile, Parliament will not be returning to work on September 19 as planned and all legislative business will be pushed back a day because the current housing, medical, environmental, and financial crises Canadians are facing can definitely wait.