POLITICS

Pat Martin Wants Oath Of Allegiance To Queen Out Of Citizenship Ceremony

04/18/2013 06:10 EDT | Updated 04/19/2013 06:40 EDT
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Pat Martin thinks new Canadians being forced to swear an oath to the Queen is just plain wrong.

In fact, the outspoken New Democrat thinks it’s high time this country considered severing ties with the monarchy altogether.

The Winnipeg MP said on Wednesday that he intends to resurrect a motion he tabled two Parliaments ago to amend the citizenship ceremony so that an oath of allegiance is sworn to Canada, not “the Queen and her heirs and successors.”

The official Oath of Citizenship is as follows:

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 fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.

Martin recently attended a ceremony where 80 people from 21 countries became citizens, but the oath seemingly put a damper on things.

“It’s just so fundamentally wrong. These people are from all over the world — Paraguay and the Congo and the Philippines and Vietnam,” he said to Postmedia. “Why are they swearing loyalty to some colonial vestigial appendage from the House of Windsor? It’s bizarre really.”

Martin tried to introduce a motion to change the pledge in 2010, but it never got past the notice paper. He will spend the summer drumming up support for his idea and devote his private member’s time to the topic in the fall.

While it may seem like a long-shot, Martin has been known to get results.

He introduced no less than three bills to get rid of the penny in the past — an idea that Conservatives eventually embraced.

But this mountain may prove to be a little too steep.

The Harper Conservatives have made no secret of their desire to strengthen ties with the monarchy.

From bringing back the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force monikers last used to describe our military in the 1960s to prominently placing the Queen’s portrait in the department of Foreign Affairs, Tories have been all too happy to highlight Canada’s relationship to the monarchy.

Last month, Canada moved to become the first nation to pass changes to allow any first-born child, girl or boy, to inherit the British throne.

And Martin may find it difficult to convince Canadians to get behind any move that puts more distance between Canada and the monarchy.

A poll released in December suggested that Canadians’ desire to sever formal ties to the throne was waning, due largely to the excitement over the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge.

What do you think? Should Canada change the oath of citizenship or stick with the status quo? Tell us in the comments below.

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