2004 Victoria Day
Recantation of the Citizenship Oath of Allegiance to the Queen
Oath rally at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto. Speech and
ceremony by CCR member Ashok Charles
Thank you all
for being here. After all, a recantation isn’t much good without
witnesses. The obvious questions that arise are: Why did I take
the oath in the first place and why am I recanting it now. I’d
like to say that the only reason I took the oath was so that I
could make a point by recanting it later, but the truth is less
noble than that.
we like to think of ourselves as citizens; among equals, in a
modern democracy, I saw that we were also still just the subjects
of an English Queen. Those we elect, democratically, to govern,
for example, have no authority until they demonstrate their
submission to the monarchy by swearing the oath of allegiance. We
won’t grant immigrants the status of citizens until they do the
same. This is an appalling state of affairs for a democracy.
thought it would be interesting to do a comparison of
international Heads of State, to see how ours, installed by virtue
of her place within a particular British family- and nothing more-
stacks up against those of countries which go to the trouble of
electing theirs. One way to get a sense of a Head of State’s
mandate is by considering their oath of office. The president of
the United States, for example, swears, at his inauguration, that
he will, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend
the American Constitution. This oath, requires that he work to
“establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the
common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the
blessings of liberty for
the American people.
the President of India was sworn in, he promised, likewise, to
preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law and to
devote himself to the service and well-being of the people of
president of Ireland swore that she would fulfill her duties
faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Irish
constitution and that she would dedicate her abilities to the
service and welfare of the people of Ireland.
Russian president pledged “to respect and uphold the rights and
freedoms of the individual and the citizen.”
German president promised to dedicate his strength to the
well-being of the German people,
to protect and defend the Basic Law of the federation, and
to ensure that justice was available to all.
French President vowed to ensure that the principles of equality,
liberty and fraternity guided the actions of his government.
lets take a look at what our Head of State promised to do for us.
In 1952, when Queen Elizabeth took the throne she pledged to
“govern” us, according to our own laws and customs, with the
one caveat that she would do her best to cause Law and Justice, in
Mercy, to be executed in her judgments.
we have a Head of State who has pledged, not to serve our
interests, or protect our rights and freedoms, but to rule us and
show us mercy. That’s not what I want from a head of state. And
bad as it is, the Queen’s oath gets worse. She went on to
promise to do the utmost in her power to maintain the Protestant
Reformed Religion in the United Kingdom to preserve the settlement
of the Church of England and its doctrines, and to preserve the
rights and privileges of…….who? no, not the citizens, but the
“Bishops and Clergy of England”.
ours is the only head of state, among all those I’ve discussed,
who demands an oath of allegiance from the citizenry. I’d also like to point out that the queen has never seen
fit, in 52 years, to recant any portion of her
reason I’m here, recanting mine is because its time we finished
with this silly game of bluebloods and serfs. Canada made the
choice between democracy and monarchy long ago. Its time to fully
acknowledge the ideal we chose by replacing the Queen as head of
state with a Canadian, who we elect, democratically, on the basis
of merit and accomplishment, to serve our interests, protect our
rights and freedoms and give our modern democracy the
representation it deserves on the world stage.
the actual recantation. I will read and then seal my letter to
Judy Sgro, our minister of citizenship.
The Honourable Ms. Judy Sgro, Minister
of Citizenship and Immigration,
Jean Edmonds South Tower, 21st floor, 365 Laurier Av.,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
became a Canadian citizen in 1977. Since then I have come to
embrace my identity as a citizen, among equals, in a progressive,
reflection, I have also recognized that the portion of the
citizenship oath I swore, which pledges allegiance to Queen
Elizabeth, and her heirs and successors, is incompatible with the
democratic ideals I uphold.
is my view that it is entirely inappropriate for Canada to require
of its citizenry, allegiance to a monarch. I see this
state-sanctioned subjugation as detrimental to our national spirit
and to the fulfillment of Canada’s role, internationally, as an
accordance with my principles and as a member of Citizens for a
Canadian Republic, an organization dedicated to the installation
of a Canadian head of State, I hereby recant that portion of my
sworn oath which read “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…”
continue to wholeheartedly respect the remainder of the oath,
which read “…and that I will faithfully observe the laws of
Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”