Toronto, February 15, 2008 -
The class action lawsuit seeking a
judgement declaring that section 24 of the Citizenship Act
violates sections 2 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms will be heard in the Court of Appeal,
Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St.W, Toronto on Tuesday, February 19,
2008 at 10:30 a.m.
Charles Roach began the class-action to challenge the
constitutionality of the Canadian Citizenship Oath that requires
new citizens to swear allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
II, Her Heirs and Successors.
Significantly, it's the first
lawsuit that directly invokes the freedom of conscience
provisions of the Charter.
The Government of
Canada has failed in two lower courts to stop the class action
Attorney General applied to the court to strike out the action
in May, 2007 but Justice Belobaba dismissed the motion. It was
appealed to the Divisional Court in September, 2007 but, with
standing room only in the courtroom, Justice Kiteley of
the Divisional Court again dismissed the application.
Attorney General has further appealed to the Court of Appeal for
Ontario, and it is this procedure which is scheduled for Tuesday
morning at Osgoode Hall.
"The government is taking this matter very seriously," said
Roach, a republican who believes strongly that Canada should
have a democratically-chosen head of state.
we win this class-action, a centuries-old tradition would begin
republicans believe that it makes a mockery of one’s conscience
to swear to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II and then turn around and advocate a
republican form of government,"
he added in a recent
memo that also expressed thanks to those who
attended street rallies and court hearings in support.
Notably, Australia revised its
Citizenship Act in 1994 to delete reference to the Queen and her
successors, instead, requiring new citizens to solely swear
loyalty to Australia and its people. In another precedent, in
2005, Canada ceased requiring the swearing of an oath to the
Queen as a prerequisite for civil service employment.
Citizens for a
Canadian Republic supports Mr. Roach's initiative.
Australian Citizenship Act – Amendment: Pledge of Commitment
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Roach Schwartz & Associates
688 St. Clair Avenue, West, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON - M6C 1B1
Tel: (416) 657-1465
Fax: (416) 657-1511
CITIZENS FOR A CANADIAN REPUBLIC
for a Canadian Republic is a registered non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that's been advocating the
Canadianization of the head of state since 2002.
is available at CCR’s website.
Citizens for a Canadian Republic