The three PQ MPs prevented from entering the Blue Room

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The three PQ MPs prevented from entering the Blue Room

The President of the National Assembly maintains that the oath to the King is required to sit.

The three deputies of the Parti Québécois, who refuse to take the oath to King Charles III, have could not return to the National Assembly on Thursday morning. The Sergeant-at-Arms refused them access for this reason.

The Parti Québécois (PQ) will remain until further notice persona non grata in the Blue Room. The three deputies of the sovereignist political formation, who did not take the oath to King Charles III during their swearing in, were refused the right to sit on Thursday by the President of the National Assembly, Nathalie Roy.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, Pascal Bérubé and Joël Arseneau were prevented from entering by Sergeant-at-Arms Véronique Michel. They then turned back, without causing an altercation.

Parti Québécois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, center, speaks to Sergeant-at-Arms of the National Assembly Véronique Michel who prevented the three elected Parti Québécois from entering the Salon Bleu to sit in the National Assembly, Thursday, December 1, 2022.

In announcing her decision in the House, Ms. Roy explained that the oath to the British Crown remained necessary to sit as a Member of Parliament, even if a consensus seems to have emerged in recent months to pass a bill that will make this profession of monarchical faith optional.

I remind you that our parliamentary jurisprudence has always recognized that relying on a legislative provision not yet adopted could constitute a contempt of Parliament, she said at the start of the session.

It would be risky to say the least to behave otherwise here, thus going against our long jurisprudence on this subject.

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Nathalie Roy upheld the decision of her predecessor, François Paradis.

Sworn in October 21 last, the three PQ deputies confined themselves to declaring their loyalty to the people of Quebec, deliberately omitting to plead their allegiance to the king.

Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon had already announced his colors in the election campaign, during his appearance on the show Everyone talks about it, one week before polling day. He then wavered trying to explain how he would manage to sit without taking the dreaded oath of allegiance.

Since their election, the three PQ MNAs have multiplied their strategies in the goal of gaining access to Parliament without complying with this requirement arising from the Constitution Act, 1867.

In particular, they submitted a formal request to the presidency of the National Assembly to be able to sit despite everything, which was refused to them last month by François Paradis who, at the time, still held this position.

< p class="e-p"> The PQ also called on the new president, Nathalie Roy, on Tuesday to reverse the decision of her predecessor, which she finally refused to do. There could be an impact on the laws passed, explained Prime Minister François Legault arriving at the Blue Room on Thursday morning.

In addition to these requests, the PQ have also proposed that a motion could allow them to sit without taking an oath to the king. The parliamentary leader of the government of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), Simon Jolin-Barrette, however, felt that such an initiative would not be sufficient.

The CAQ said want to favor the legislative route. Also, a government bill will be tabled next week, Prime Minister Legault reconfirmed on Thursday.

Québec solidaire (QS) has also prepared its own piece of legislation, inspired by the one tabled unsuccessfully during the last legislature. His bill aims to make the oath of allegiance to the king optional by amending section 15 of the Act respecting the National Assembly. It was tabled Thursday morning by MP Sol Zanetti.

QS also tabled a motion for the Assembly to express its wish that the oath of allegiance to the king become optional following the rapid adoption of a bill. The MPs present unanimously supported it.

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As he had done during the previous legislature, the deputy for Jean-Lesage, Sol Zanetti, of Québec solidaire, tabled a bill on Thursday to make the oath of allegiance to the king that must be taken by elected officials optional.

Like their PQ counterparts, the 11 elected QS members initially refused to swear allegiance to Charles III when they were sworn in in October. But, as in 2018, they finally resolved to pronounce the unloved oath behind closed doors, after learning of François Paradis' decision.

We ended up deciding to hold our noses, illustrated the parliamentary leader of QS, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, Thursday morning, at the Press Gallery of the National Assembly.

“Basically, we share […] the aversion of a majority of Quebecers to the oath to the king. This is why we are going to table a bill today. Because if we want to change this obligation, it must be done by law, and we are going to do it. »

— Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire

Tipped as a candidate to succeed Dominique Anglade, the Liberal MP for Pontiac, André Fortin, also declared in a press briefing Thursday morning that he was not particularly attached to the British Crown.

It didn't make me particularly happy to take the oath to the king, neither did I, but we did it to be able to sit, to be able to debate, to that I can today ask questions about health, which the Parti Québécois agrees to do without, he mentioned.

If the oath to the king became optional, Mr. Fortin would also limit himself to pledging allegiance to the people of Quebec, he indicated, specifying that this was a personal posture and not a position officially adopted by the Quebec Liberal Party.

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