ontario news watch

Second Quebec opposition party plans to refuse to swear loyalty oath to King Charles

MONTREAL — A debate over the oath that members of the legislature swear to the Crown is continuing in Quebec as an opposition party says it will refuse to swear it this afternoon.

The Canadian Press has learned that the 11 elected members of the sovereigntist Québec solidaire don’t plan to declare their allegiance to King Charles III, as required by the Canadian Constitution, when they are sworn in this afternoon.

Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon said earlier this week that the three members of his party elected Oct. 3 will also refuse the oath when their turn comes Friday.

Patrick Taillon, a constitutional law professor at Université Laval in Quebec City, says it will be up to the legislature to decide whether the members who refuse the oath can take their seats and whether they will be able to participate in debates and votes.

He says that while he believes the Quebec legislature could change the oath unilaterally by passing a bill, not all constitutional experts agree.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters it is up to the Quebec legislature to decide for itself how it wants to manage the swearing-in process. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2022.

The Canadian Press