New Developments in Opposition to Taking the Oath of Allegiance to Charles III

New Developments in Opposition to Taking the Oath of Allegiance to Charles III

Reprinted from TML Daily

In Quebec, the constitutional crisis deepened when, on October 19, the eleven members of Québec solidaire (QS) did not swear allegiance to King Charles III when they took their oath of office at the Quebec National Assembly. On October 18, QS co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois indicated that the eleven QS members of the National Assembly (MNAs) would not be taking the oath of allegiance to the King of England when they are sworn in. This is news welcomed by many Quebeckers and Canadians who want to do away with the monarchy.

It certainly puts the lie to the statement by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who declared the same day: “What I can tell you, there is not a single Quebecker who wants us to reopen the Constitution.” (“Ce que je peux vous dire, c’est qu’il n’y a pas un Québécois qui veut qu’on rouvre la Constitution.”) He certainly does not speak in the name of Quebeckers or Canadians for that matter. 

It is clear that the idea of having to hide from the eyes of Quebeckers to swear allegiance to King Charles III would have meant the end of QS’ political aspirations as a representative of the Quebec people. Moreover, in the ridings that they won, the number of votes per riding that QS and the Parti Québécois (PQ) received, compared to the number of votes per riding received by the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), reinforces the argument that while CAQ MNAs have every right to sit in the National Assembly and participate in determining its policies, QS and PQ MNAs have as much, if not more.[1]

The CAQ has no moral justification for not doing what is increasingly proving to be its political duty to introduce a motion saying that QS and PQ members can sit without pledging allegiance to the King of England, whom colonial law also imposes on us as King of Canada. The CAQ should follow this up with a law that clearly states that to sit in the National Assembly, being elected by Quebeckers is sufficient. We’re not speaking here about declaring the Republic of Quebec.

According to Le Devoir, Québec solidaire has reached an agreement with the National Assembly that allowed it to take the oath only to the people of Quebec. The Secretary General of the National Assembly, Siegfried Peters, told QS that it is benefitting from a period of grace while it works out a permanent agreement with the other parties represented in the National Assembly between now and the resumption of its proceedings. The CAQ government has scheduled this for November 29. The National Assembly was originally scheduled to resume on November 15, its first sitting since the October 3 election.

Québec solidaire’s parliamentary leader opened the door to discussing the motion that PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon wants the National Assembly to adopt, which states that refusing to swear the oath to the King should not prevent a democratically elected MNA from sitting, writes Le Devoir. “It’s an option that deserves to be studied,” Nadeau-Dubois told Le Devoir. “I think Mr Plamondon needs to clarify it.”

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois sent letters on Tuesday, October 18, to the leaders of the other parties represented in the National Assembly to organize a meeting and “find a transpartisan solution” to the oath of allegiance to the King. “This meeting could, as early as next week, quickly bring together representatives of our respective political parties,” he wrote in his letter.

Government House Leader Simon Jolin-Barrette refused the option of a motion. “A motion does not have force of law,” he told reporters, adding that the oath to the British monarch originates with the Canadian Constitution and that only a law can change the situation. Noting that he favours a legislative solution, he also said it’s not a priority for his government at this time. He added that if they persist in refusing the oath of allegiance to the King, the elected members of the PQ will not be able to sit when the parliamentary session begins. “It does not please us anymore than it does anyone else to swear allegiance to Charles III, however this is currently the provision in the Constitution. Therefore, the elected members of the Coalition Avenir Québec will take the oath to the King.”

That’s what they did on October 18, and the members of the Quebec Liberal Party did the same.

The leader of the PQ has confirmed that the swearing-in of his party’s MNAs will take place as scheduled on Friday, October 21, and that they will only take the oath to the people of Quebec.

It is hoped that QS will take on the task of getting Quebec out of the dead end it is in because of the contradiction about who MNAs represent. This contradiction should be resolved in favour of the interests of the people and not those of the British Crown, its stranglehold on Quebec and Canada, and “the King’s democracy” with its limitations that violate the conscience of all. There must also not be any closed-door shenanigans. Quebeckers want to have their say on the resolution of this constitutional problem.


1. According to the results of the October 3 election, each CAQ seat is “worth” 18,772 votes; each Liberal seat, 28,103 votes; each QS seat, 57,583 votes; and each PQ seat, 199,893 votes.

(Quotations tranlated from original French by TML.)