Associate Director 

Pierre L. J. Vincent, MSc (Hons.), LLB

Born in 1964 in Red Deer and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Pierre Vincent studied law at Université de Moncton and geology at University of Alberta. A co-founder of Citizens for a Canadian Republic, he's held the position of Associate Director and francophone media spokesperson for CCR since its inception in 2002.

After law school in 1992, he articled with an Edmonton law firm and, despite his hopes to the contrary, the provincial government refused to lift the requirement to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Queen. He refused, and consequently, never became a lawyer.  

In 1998, during his tenure as a federal government employee, Pierre was publically transformed into a republican activist by again refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance. This time, with his job and the livelihood of his family threatened, he didn’t back down. Citing his constitutional right to freedom of conscience and speech, a nearly three-year legal battle with the federal government’s Public Service Commission followed.  

Widely covered by the national media, he later said to a reporter that he refused the oath due to his republican beliefs and because of his Acadian roots. 

"The oath was introduced in Canada to subjugate the conquered people," he said. "Two hundred and fifty years of it is enough." He also argued that the government had no right “to force us to think things and have political opinions we wouldn't have otherwise.” 

Many federal parliamentarians agreed. Ontario MP John Bryden said Acadian descendants are not the only ones who might prefer a more updated oath. "I really think Mr. Vincent strikes an absolute chord, in the sense that we should be swearing allegiance to Canada." 

Alan Borovoy, general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said the Public Service Alliance of Canada ought to reconsider its general policy. "These are rituals and they ought not to be seen as job requirements," he said. "As far as we're concerned, there is a principle that could well apply and ought to apply to others." 

In 2001, Natural Resources Canada quietly accepted the recommendation of the Treasury Board Secretariat to allow Pierre to keep his job without taking the oath. 

Later in the same year, this decision was used as precedent in a similar act of refusal in Ontario. The end result was the Treasury Board's realization that the oath was both unnecessary and unenforceable. In 2003, calling the current system "cumbersome and outdated," Lucienne Robillard, President of the Treasury Board of Canada introduced The Public Service Modernization Act in parliament to modernize human resources management in the federal public service. One of the revisions included ending the requirement for federal civil servants to swear an oath to the Queen as of December 31, 2005. 

Currently, Pierre is employed as a Commercial Officer at the Business Development Office of Natural Resources Canada. Fluent in English and French - and learning Spanish - he's also worked for Francophonie Jeunesse de l'Alberta and, as a volunteer, is Vice-President of L’Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta, régionale de Centralta, a kayak instructor for summer youth camps in Alberta and an interpreter during the North American Indigenous Games.

He lives in Edmonton with his wife and two children.

Citizens for a Canadian Republic