Although his ministry has done a LOT to strengthen the image of the Crown in Canada, Mr. Harper seems to be sending a mixed message about the institution when he plays up the British Crown at the expense of the Canadian Crown. A number of his "statements" about anything related to the monarchy (e.g. royal tours) seem to focus more on the qualities of individual members of the royal family or on the British legacy in Canada. There is obviously nothing wrong with doing so, but it does have the effect of strengthening the arguments of groups like Citizens For A Canadian Republic, which insists (rather angrily, I might add) that the monarchy is only being kept around out of personal admiration for the current Queen or out of respect for "our British heritage." In other words, the Crown as a "much-needed depoliticizing instrument" is ignored, while the republicans insist that a "parliamentary president," preselected by a political party with a political motivation and elected by either forty-five percent of the country or forty-five percent of the House of Commons, could do a similar, if not much better job than the Queen and her representatives ever could. Who cares if the successful candidate is a controversial politician or some random celebrity with no prior experience in constitutional/historical/legal fields? As long as they live in Canada and conform to some sort of predetermined "Canadian identity," it will all work out just fine.
P.S. Isn't it a little more than ironic that Mr. Harper, in a 1997 speech, dismissed the Governor General as being an "appointed buddy of the Prime Minister," only to convene a selection committee in 2010 that was tasked with finding a scrupulously nonpartisan nominee for the office? While I don't doubt Mr. Harper's enthusiasm for the monarchy, I think he sometimes falls prey to popular opinion, which believes that the Crown is nothing more than a colonial curiosity personified by a nice lady who lives in London.