04/18/2013 22:58 EDT | Updated 06/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Winnipeg MP wants Queen nixed from pledge of allegiance

Winnipeg member of Parliament Pat Martin has plans for a bill that would change the way newcomers become citizens.

The NDP MP wants to see new Canadians pledge their allegiance to Canada instead of Queen Elizabeth.

“It’s the nation state of Canada that we’re loyal to — not the queen of a foreign country,” said Martin.

Currently, new Canadians must pledge allegiance to 'Queen Elizabeth and all of Her Heirs and Successors' when they take an oath of citizenship.

Martin said many other Commonwealth countries do not mention the Queen in their citizenship oath.

He added even though he wants the mention removed doesn’t mean he is anti-Queen.

“One doesn’t preclude the other. Your first loyalty to Canada doesn’t preclude some affection for the Queen of England,” said Martin.

“I just think we have things ass-backwards in terms of the citizenship oath.”

He said he’s heard from a number of Canadians who support his stance.

“The federal state of Canada — it’s a beautiful thing, but it’s fragile in its construct,” said Martin.

“We need to nurture it.”

The minister’s office provided CBC with a statement Thursday afternoon, saying the current government had no plans to change the citizenship oath.

Martin has given notice to the House of Commons that he plans to introduce the bill. After it is introduced, it will be up for debate by MPs in October.