A Canadian institution:
Appreciating that the Crown is our concept of the state helps us resolve the most contentious issue in the burgeoning monarchy-republic debate: whether the institution is Canadian or British. Historically, Canada and the United Kingdom shared the same Crown. With the enactment of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, however, the Canadian and British Crowns became two distinct institutions, reflecting Canada's evolution from a self-governing colony to an independent state.Where does the person of the sovereign fit in all this? The Queen embodies the Crown; she is essentially the holder of the Crown as an office. For this reason, the sovereign is both the Queen of Canada and Queen of the United Kingdom. Although they are separate and distinct, she holds both offices and embodies both Crowns.
I've never been entirely convinced of the wisdom of emphasizing the Canadian nature of the Crown. There is no getting around the fact that the Queen resides in Britain most of the year. Instead I think we should be comfortable with the "British" aspects of the Crown. Most of Canada's key institutions are British derived, though it is nation peopled by members of every race and creed. We should not shy away from our British heritage. It shows to new Canadians that we are an old country after all, that our values and traditions have stood well history's test.