Second Quebec opposition party refuses constitutionally required loyalty oath to King


Members of a second Quebec opposition party have refused to swear allegiance to King Charles III, as required by the Canadian Constitution, placing their capacity to sit within the legislature into query.

The three Parti Quebecois members elected to the province’s legislature Oct. 3 took an oath of loyalty to the individuals of Quebec, however not to the monarch, as they had been sworn in Friday morning.

Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon mentioned he believes the oath of workplace must be significant and honest — which he says is not the case with an oath to a monarchy that Quebecers by no means consented to.

The oath is a “straitjacket that condemns every elected consultant of the individuals of Quebec to hypocrisy,” St-Pierre Plamondon mentioned in a speech. “A straitjacket that forces democrats of all events to take an oath they don’t consider in and subsequently to perjure themselves, to sully the worth of their phrase and to try this within the first act they’re referred to as on to take as representatives of residents.”

Members of all provincial legislatures and the federal Parliament are required to swear an oath to the Crown earlier than taking workplace, whereas the second oath to the individuals of Quebec is required beneath provincial legislation.

Earlier this week, the 11 members of Quebec solidaire — which just like the PQ helps Quebec sovereignty — additionally refused to swear allegiance to the King.

Spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois mentioned on the time that he’d been instructed members of the party wouldn’t be allowed to sit within the legislature, take part in debates or vote, however would have entry to their legislative workplaces and budgets.

Speaking to reporters after the swearing-in, St-Pierre Plamondon mentioned he now desires to meet with the leaders of the opposite events to discover a means for his members to sit within the legislature with out having to take the oath.

He mentioned he believes a easy movement within the province’s nationwide aggregation may enable the members to sit.

He cited an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that discovered the oath to the queen sworn by a brand new Canadian citizen was not to the queen herself, however to the establishments and the federal government. “So based mostly on that judgment of 2014, as soon as we have taken an oath in the direction of the individuals of Quebec and the structure of Quebec, we’ve got fulfilled that customary,” he mentioned.

On Tuesday, Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette mentioned it’ll take greater than a movement to enable the members to sit — however he believes the oath could possibly be eradicated if the aggregation passes a bill.

Asked if he would swear the oath if negotiations don’t advance, or if the PQ members would try to sit with out making the pledge, St-Pierre Plamondon mentioned he wasn’t ruling something out.

Constitutional students differ on whether or not the Quebec legislature has the ability to enable members to take part in legislative debates and votes with out taking the oath.

Benoit Pelletier, a constitutional legislation professor on the University of Ottawa, mentioned he believes the legislature may enable the dissident members to sit by passing a movement. Pelletier mentioned he believes Quebec may change the oath by the ability provinces possess to change their very own constitutions, however different consultants consider it could require the consent of all provinces and the 2 homes of Parliament.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed on Oct. 21, 2022. 


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