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Liberals and Conservatives save the oath to the King in Ottawa

Photo: Justin Tang La Presse canadienne Le «God Save the King» puis des applaudissements ont résonné dans la Chambre des communes après l’annonce du résultat du vote sur le projet de loi rendant optionnel le serment au roi.

Liberal and conservative elected officials — starting with the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the leader of the official opposition, Pierre Poilievre — have joined forces to maintain the oath of allegiance to King Charles III as a condition sine qua non to sit in the House of Commons or the Senate.

In fact, 196 of them and one independent opposed Wednesday afternoon the detailed examination by a parliamentary committee of Bill C-347 carried by the Liberal MP for Madawaska-Restigouche , René Arseneault.

The God Save the King, then applause resonated in the House of Commons after the announcement of the result of the vote: 113 in favor, 197 against.

The 38 Liberals, 31 Bloc elected officials, 24 New Democrats, 17 Conservatives, two Greens and one independent, who supported the idea of ​​making the oath to the king optional, were no match.

Through his proposed “Act to amend the Constitutional Act of 1867 (oath of office)”, René Arseneault once again sought to allow persons appointed to the Canadian Parliament to take an “oath of office” — by which they would swear that they would exercise their functions “in the best interests of Canada and in compliance with its Constitution” — “rather,” or in addition to the “oath of allegiance” to His Majesty King Charles III.

“I want to reassure my colleagues: Bill C‑347 is not intended to divide monarchists and republicans; it in no way aims to abolish the monarchy in Canada. Even before presenting this bill at first reading last June, I ensured that making this change, certainly modest, but important, would not cause a constitutional storm in the country,” declared the Acadian elected official. during the presentation of his bill on January 31.

The government's parliamentary leader, Steven MacKinnon, allowed Liberal MPs to vote as they saw fit, with the exception of members of the Council of Ministers who had to unite against the initiative of their New Brunswick colleague René Arseneault, who deplores still having to swear allegiance to the British sovereign more than 260 years after the deportation of the Acadians under the orders of the British colonial authorities (1755 and 1763).

If Mr. Arseneault did not obtain the support of the Trudeau government, he did, however, have that of all the Bloc, New Democrats and Greens as well as most of the Liberal and Conservative Quebec MPs.

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Allegiance “to the principle of democracy”

The Constitutional Act of 1867 requires all deputies and senators to take an oath, or to make a solemn affirmation of allegiance or loyalty to the sovereign before being able to sit and vote.

“When a deputy pledges allegiance to the sovereign, he also pledges allegiance to the institutions represented by the sovereign and in particular to the principle of democracy. The MP thus commits to serving the best interests of the country. The oath he takes, or the solemn affirmation he makes, serves to remind him of the full weight of the obligations and responsibilities he assumes”, we can read in The procedure and the practices of the House of Commons.

The Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, recalled Wednesday morning that “French, Acadian, Scottish and Irish blood flows in [his] veins”. He had therefore become aware of Bill C-347 allowing him to sit without necessarily taking an oath of allegiance to the King of the United Kingdom with “feelings that come from [his] past”, he said, before specifying that he would nevertheless vote against Bill C-347.

Even though his name is “extremely Irish” and his grandfather fought in the Irish War of Independence, Labor Minister Seamus O'Regan refused to give his thoughts on the idea of ​​making optional the oath to King Charles III. “I have a lot of thoughts, but I don’t want to share them,” he told the press before the vote. He also opposed the continued study of Bill C-347.

“The priority for me is just [to] build housing,” declared the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Sean Fraser.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116