Parti Québécois MNAs Take Oath of Allegiance to People of Quebec Only
On October 21, the three Parti Québécois members elected to the Quebec National Assembly — Paul St-Pierre Plamondon leader of the Parti Québécois (Camille Laurin), Pascal Bérubé (Matane-Matapédia) and Joël Arseneau (Îles-de-la-Madeleine) — took the oath of allegiance to the people of Quebec, but not King Charles III, in the National Assembly’s Red Room.
On Monday, October 17, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon had invited the MNAs of all parties not to swear allegiance to King Charles III, saying that one cannot have two masters when they represent conflicting interests. On Tuesday, the 90 members of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) took the oath of allegiance to the people of Quebec and the King of England. They were followed on Wednesday by the 21 MNAs of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) who did the same. On the same day, the 11 MNAs of Québec solidaire (QS) took a single oath to the people of Quebec.
Both Premier Legault and the PLQ say that they don’t like swearing allegiance to the King but that it is not a priority to change the requirement at this time and that they would do so at the right opportunity. They do not say what that opportunity would be.
In the same week, Premier François Legault decided to postpone the start of the National Assembly by two weeks, from Tuesday, November 15 to Tuesday, November 29.
PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon held a press conference following the swearing in of his party’s three MNAs. He explained the significance of their oath of allegiance to the people of Quebec alone, recalling that in all of Quebec’s history since Confederation, there has never been consent to take the oath to the monarchy. “Without arms, without violence and without conquest, there would be no king or oath in Quebec,” he said.
At the same time as the swearing-in ceremony of the PQ MNAs, some 100 people gathered in front of the National Assembly in support of their action. The rally was organized by the Rassemblement pour un pays souverain and activists carried signs reading “No to the monarchy, allegiance only to the people of Quebec.” In support of the PQ MNAs, they recited an act of abjuration, i.e., an oath taken to renounce or repudiate something or someone:
“I, … deny all allegiance, all submission to Charles III, declared King of Canada. To him, his heirs, successors and representatives, I recognize no sovereignty over Quebec.”
They then recited this act of allegiance, “I, …, swear that I will be loyal to the Quebec nation, to its language, to its culture and that I will faithfully serve the Republic of Quebec in friendship with the native peoples.” Several people spoke in support of this gesture. The PQ leader came out to greet them after the ceremony.
(Originally published in TML Daily and translated from original French by TML. Photos: Rassemblement pour un pays souverain, R. Ricard)