ontario news watch

Second Quebec opposition party refuses constitutionally required loyalty oath to King

QUEBEC — Members of a second Quebec opposition party are refusing to swear allegiance to King Charles III, as required by the Canadian Constitution.

The three Parti Québécois members elected to the province’s legislature earlier this month are taking an oath of loyalty to the people of Quebec, but not to the monarch, as they are being sworn in this morning.

Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon says it doesn’t make sense to swear allegiance to both the people of Quebec and what he considers a foreign monarch, adding that swearing the oath would be a form of perjury.

Members of all provincial legislatures and the federal Parliament are required to swear an oath to the Crown before taking office, while the second oath to the people of Quebec is required under provincial law.

Earlier this week, the 11 members of Québec solidaire — which like the PQ supports Quebec sovereignty — also refused to swear allegiance to the King.

Constitutional scholars differ on whether the Quebec legislature has the power to allow members to participate in legislative debates and votes without taking the oath.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2022.

The Canadian Press