Is the mandatory oath of allegiance to the Queen On It’s Way OUT?
Yes and No.
Multiple times in the not too distant past the previously mandatory oath of allegiance to the Queen was challenged in court and defeated multiple times as it was again recently with the citizenship oath. The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed it as a requirement for all new citizens. Previously, federal MP’s attempted more than once to alter or modify the oath of allegiance to no avail.
But times are changing and the oath of allegiance to the Queen is disappearing quietly from other non-federal jurisdictions… while hoping that not too people many notice.
The oath is more than a quaint ceremonial oath. It HAD legal ramifications and still HAS in some public offices where the person to hold the office is require by law to take the oath of allegiance to the Queen or else they cannot hold the office.
To be clear, there are two kinds of oaths. The first oath is an “honour/trust” oath which is still mandatory and is intended to be a lawfully binding oath whereby the oath taker promises to act in an honourable manner while exercising the trust placed in them to do their job in the highest public interest free from political or personal favour or benefit.
After all, public offices carry much power and power wielded improperly leads to destruction of society and the faith in the institutions we trust to serve us private persons faithfully and honestly. Once that trust is lost rule-of-law is lost and society slips into corruption as the norm. We see this in many places around the world and more and more so in commonwealth countries as well.
The oath is what gives us power to sue wrongdoers who have pledged to obey and serve honestly or face the lawful consequences for breaking their oath and the trust placed in them. Check out http://SueWrongdoers.com
The second oath is an oath of allegiance to “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II [or her successor], her heirs and successors” which has been at issue multiple times successfully removed as a requirement and unsuccessfully removed or changed during other challenges.
Back to our recent big news.
The new Mayor of Victoria B.C. declined to take an oath of allegiance to the Queen and at the same time recognized the sovereignty of the first nations as the rightful “owners” of the unceded land that Victoria sits upon.
Loveday echoed Helps’s perspective on respecting First Nations. “Part of it is out of respect for the First Nations and the fact that we’re on unceded territory,” he said. – See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/victoria-s-new-mayor-swears-allegiance-just-not-to-the-queen-1.1650948#sthash.LBeyr5Lb.dpuf download – PDF of Article
And merely days later the challenge to the new Mayor for not taking the oath of allegiance is underway. Notice the readers poll where almost 50% think she should make the oath. Make your vote heard too:
The B.C. Law Society removed the previously mandatory oath of allegiance way back in 1993.
The B.C. MLA’s are required to take the oath of allegiance:
“Every Member of the Legislative Assembly is required under Section 24 of the Constitution Act to take and subscribe to the oath of allegiance prior to sitting or voting in the House.”t
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OATHS ONLINE – http://www.gov.bc.ca/premier/cabinet_ministers/
OATH CEREMONY PROCESS (notice the gold fringe flag) – http://members.leg.bc.ca/getting-started/oath-ceremony.htm
B.C. Constitution Act – Oath of allegiance
24 (1) A member of the Legislative Assembly must not vote or sit until he or she has taken and subscribed the following oath before the Lieutenant Governor, or some other person authorized by the Lieutenant Governor to administer the oath:
(2) A person authorized by law to make a solemn affirmation or declaration instead of taking an oath may make a solemn affirmation or declaration instead of taking the oath required by subsection (1).
NOTE: If you have ever wondered what you need to know as a MLA in B.C. here is there online guide:
Federal MP’s are also required to take an oath of allegiance to the Queen:
The Governor General and Member of the Privy Council are required to take an oath of allegiance to the Queen:
The oath landscape is changing. It is interesting to see where it is still required and where it is not. Times are changing and it is well on it’s way.
RELEVANT ACTS B.C.
Community Charter [SBC 2003] CHAPTER 26 – http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/03026_00
Local Government Act [RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323 – http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/96323_00
OATH OF OFFICE – Community Charter; Local Government Act; Vancouver Charter
Local Government Elections Regulation – http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/laws/regu/bc-reg-380-93/latest/bc-reg-380-93.html
Roach v. Canada (Secretary of State), 2007 CanLII 17373 (ON SC) http://canlii.ca/t/1rhr6
- MOTION to strike or stay an application for a declaration that part of the oath of the Canadian citizenship is unconstitutional.
- the motion should be dismissed.
- Conclusion The constitutional challenge to the requirement that new Canadian citizens swear or affirm an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and not simply to the country, its people and its laws, is neither frivolous nor vexatious. There is a plausible argument that this requirement violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There is evidence, filed by the applicant, that suggests that a requirement in a Canadian citizenship oath to swear allegiance to the Queen may not be a reasonable limit that is demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society. There is at least a possibility or chance of success. There is no abuse of process. The Federal Court of Canada is not a more convenient forum. In my view, this matter can be litigated in the Superior Court of this province.
- All decisions related – http://www.canlii.org/en/index.html#search/all=Roach%20v.%20Canada
- Roach v. Canada (Attorney General), 2012 ONSC 3521 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/frshm>