Photo: Justin Tallis Pool Agence France-Presse King Charles III, during the inaugural session of the British Parliament on November 7
The federal government officially summons its “fair subjects” to take note of the new title of their king: “Charles the Third, by the grace of God, King of Canada and its other kingdoms and territories, Head of Commonwealth.”
“From the foregoing, our fair subjects and all those to whom this present may concern are hereby required to take note and act accordingly,” dictates The Canada Gazette, the official publication of government notices, dated January 31, 2024.
This royal title was granted by the Royal Titles Act 2023, passed last summer, shortly after the coronation of Charles III in London, United Kingdom.
La Canada Gazette specifies that the witness to this proclamation is “ our most faithful and beloved Mary May Simon.” Her title is written in its long version: “Chancellor and Principal Companion of Our Order of Canada, Chancellor and Commander of Our Order of Military Merit, Chancellor and Commander of Our Order of Police Merit, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada “.
The clarification on the 21st century update of royal titles comes on the same day that elected officials from the Liberal Party of Canada, the Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party criticized the monarchical system, described as “medieval”, or dismissed it. are mocked.
“A Member of Parliament or a Senator must still take an oath of true allegiance to the head of the Protestant Church, which still continues to harm the conscience of Canadians of other religious faiths, notably French-speaking ones Catholics, the Irish Catholics and so on,” chanted Liberal MP René Arseneault in the House on Wednesday evening.
The Acadian elected official from New Brunswick was invited to speak to defend his bill C-347, which proposes to make the oath to the king optional for federal elected officials. He suggests that elected officials be given the choice to opt for another version of the oath, which makes them promise to exercise their functions “in the best interests of Canada and in compliance with its Constitution”.
“I made sure that making this small but important change would not cause a constitutional storm in the country,” he promised his colleagues.< /p>
Debate on the oath
The argument did not convince Ontario Conservative MP Scott Reid. The latter expressed doubts about the respect of the Constitution of the decision of the National Assembly of Quebec to make this oath optional, taken in 2022. “It could be wise to take the additional precaution of referring the question to the Supreme Court of Canada,” he suggested.
René Arseneault's criticism of the monarchy was, on the contrary, very well received by the Bloc Québécois. “It doesn't fit into my head at all that we are celebrating and wanting the continuation of a system inherited from the Middle Ages,” added MP Marie-Hélène Gaudreau, according to whom the voters in her constituency are strongly opposed to royal titles.
The Quebec MP from the New Democratic Party, Alexandre Boulerice, clarified that the elected officials of his party could vote on this bill according to their conscience. For him, “taking an oath to a sovereign, to a monarch who, in theory, holds his power by the will of God, is something a little medieval.” He spoke of his antipathy towards hereditary titles.
Liberal MP from the Quebec region Joël Lightbound also expressed his full support for his colleague's private initiative bill. “We are not stopping anyone from taking the oath to the monarchy, we are just offering another option for those who, like me, as a member of Parliament from Quebec, are uncomfortable, have reluctance to take allegiance to a foreign monarch. »
Federal elected officials have not yet had the opportunity to vote on this text, which is currently being examined at second reading in the House of Commons.
With Dave Noël