Attention: News Editors, Assignment Editors 

  

Embargo: December 10, 2005

Canada's Citizenship Act target of class action lawsuit

Charter of Rights and Freedoms cited

TORONTO, December 9, 2005 -- In a press conference on Saturday, Citizens for a Canadian Republic will be announcing support for legal action contesting the constitutionality of the Canadian Citizenship Act's oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II and her heirs and successors. The announcement is being made on Human Rights Day, recognized worldwide as a day to mark the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

The applicant, Toronto lawyer Charles Roach, filed his claim in Ontario Superior Court on Wednesday, December 7, 2005. Roach, a well-known civil rights activist, is a senior member of Citizens for a Canadian Republic as well as the lead defense council for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The action alleges the federal government is contravening the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression and protects individuals from being compelled to make statements contrary to their personal beliefs or opinions. The plaintiffs claim their deeply felt rejection of monarchy's inegalitarian and undemocratic nature is protected under both the charter and the UDHR, of which Canada is a signatory, and consequently, they should not be forced to discard that belief in order to obtain citizenship.

As has been done with Australia's revised Citizenship Act, the plaintiffs believe that requiring allegiance solely to their new country and its laws is both adequate and in keeping with Canada's status as an independent nation.

Full details and documentation of the legal action, including objectives, will be provided at the press conference.

Date: Saturday, December 10, 2005

Time: 2:00 PM

Location: Metro Hall, Rotunda - East side, Main floor, 55 John St., Toronto, ON  ON  M5V3C6 (between Wellington and King)

Refreshments will be provided.

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ABOUT CITIZENS FOR A CANADIAN REPUBLIC
Founded in 2002, Citizens for a Canadian Republic is a registered not-for-profit, non-partisan organization advocating full Canadianization of the head of state. It sees reforming the Governor General’s office as a transitional stage, eventually leading to a position rendered completely independent of the British monarchy. Similar to the goals of the republican movements of Australia and New Zealand, this change would make Canada a parliamentary republic, such as Ireland or fellow Commonwealth member, India.

More information is available at CCR’s website.

CONTACT
Susan Bazinet
Citizens for a Canadian Republic
2100 Bloor Street West, Suite 6 - 146
Toronto, Ontario M6S 5A5
Phone(416)705-5660, Fax(416)532-3792
info@canadian-republic.ca
www.canadian.republic.ca
OTHER CONTACTS
Tom Freda - (416)705-5660 or national.director@canadian-republic.ca
Charles Roach -  (416)657-1472 croach@roachschwartz.com
 
MORE INFORMATION
Present Canadian Citizenship Oath - I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.
Australian Citizenship Pledge - (Revised in 1993 to delete reference to the Queen) - As an Australian citizen, I affirm my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I uphold and obey.

Citizens for a Canadian Republic