2007-05-21

If Victoria Day isn't a Holiday, We will All Run Away

If Victoria Day isn't a Holiday, We will All Run Away

Immigrants and democracy.

A long time ago, immigrants from the 13 American colonies (aka Loyalists) petitioned the King of England to get their own province, separate from Nova Scotia. They got it: New Brunswick.

Today, not a holiday in Atlantic Canada, immigrants are petitioning to rid Canada of the monarchy.

Tanks to a recent court case, federal civil servants no longer have to pledge allegiance to the Queen (something I had to do when the feds became my employer). However, federal politicians and people receiving citizen ship, do. As Clift Claven would say, what's up with that?

Indeed.

How about a pledge to Canadian democracy? Wouldn't that make more sense? Nothing erks me more than new citizens who don't bother to vote. Apathy when you are 19, sure, I get that. But apathy when you are a new citizen from China or Morocco? No way ozé. Invest some time and read up on the issues and vote. Yes, even in the school board elections.

You feel ill-prepared, unsure, even annoyed. Tough. That's democracy. You should have thought of that before becoming a citizen. You don't like it you should run back to your King or Communist leader.

(According to Wikipedia, and confirmed by the Library of Parliament ) Here is what our House of Commons approved in 1999 (the legislation died in the unelected Senate):


In 1998, Bill
C-63, the proposed Citizenship of Canada Act, was introduced by the Liberal
government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. This
bill proposed (among other measures) that the Oath of Citizenship be changed
to:
From this day forward, I pledge my loyalty and allegiance to Canada and
Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada. I promise to respect our
country's rights and freedoms, to defend our democratic values, to faithfully
observe our laws and fulfil my duties and obligations as a Canadian citizen
.
In French, this would be:
"Dorénavant, je promets fidélité et allégeance
au Canada et à Sa Majesté Elizabeth Deux, Reine du Canada. Je m'engage à
respecter les droits et libertés de notre pays, à défendre nos valeurs
démocratiques, à observer fidèlement nos lois et à remplir mes devoirs et
obligations de citoyen(ne) canadien(ne).
"


If we reintroduce the legislation, let's drop the "Her Majesty" part:

From this day forward, I pledge my loyalty and allegiance to Canada. I promise to respect our country's rights and freedoms, to defend our democratic values, to faithfully observe our laws and fulfil my duties and obligations as a Canadian citizen.

Sounds good to me.

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