Deputies to Quebec National Assembly to Take Oath of Allegiance this Week
On October 13, the Secretary General of the Quebec National Assembly, Mr. Siegfried Peters, rendered his legal interpretation on the case put to him by the leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ) as concerns the oath of allegiance to King Charles III. Mr. Peters said the Assembly could block the entry of Parti Québécois (PQ) Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) who refuse to take the oath of allegiance to Charles III.
In his letter, Mr. Peters says that he does not have the authority to exempt an MNA from the obligation of swearing an oath to the British monarch, a requirement stipulated by the British North America Act, 1867, still in force today. He cites the entire clause which was imposed by the British Crown in 1867, in English because, 155 years later, the Constitution officially exists in English only. Mr. Peter also suggested that if a law were passed by the National Assembly which says the oath is not necessary, the verdict might differ. (The text of the letter is reproduced below for the information of readers.)
In response, the leader of the PQ wrote to each of the leaders of the parties with elected members in the National Assembly, proposing the adoption of a motion in the National Assembly stating that refusing to swear the oath to the King should not prevent a democratically elected member from sitting. (The text of these letters is also reproduced below.)
The newspaper Le Devoir reported that Paul St-Pierre Plamondon had a telephone conversation with Quebec Premier François Legault in which the Premier said he was open to introducing a bill but not to a motion at this time. According to Le Devoir, Québec solidaire has not yet made its intentions known with respect to the oath to the King of England. The article quotes a statement from Québec solidaire House Leader Alexandre Leduc that “We are continuing to discuss with the National Assembly to try to find a solution.”
In addition, several campaigns have been launched in which Quebeckers are supporting the need to renounce the oath to King Charles III. One project is the #monserment! campaign, in which fifteen cultural personalities made a video which renounces the oath to the King by enunciating an oath which upholds the dignity of the Quebec people. They are calling on everyone to join in by recording their own oath to replace the one they reject. The video of this campaign is available below.
An open letter signed by well-known constitutionalists and prominent sovereigntists has also been published in newspapers and aired on TV.