Sunday April 02, 2017
New Canadians shouldn't have to swear allegiance to the Queen
more stories from this episode
- After pot, legalize heroin
- Canada needs a list of 'essential medicines'
- Canada's 'Yellow Peril': it happened before, it could happen again
- The real estate industry needs to build affordable housing
- New Canadians shouldn't have to swear allegiance to the Queen
- Stop drinking the innovation Kool-Aid
- Full Episode
Julienne Bay was really enjoying her husband's citizenship ceremony, until the Queen got involved.
All new Canadian citizens must swear allegiance to the British monarch. But to Bay, that's rather odd — given the role the British played in colonizing and dividing many of the countries those citizens come from.
Her husband, for example, is of Indian descent. His mother, Bay says, "grew up hearing stories of colonial India: forced taxes on commodities such as salt and agricultural crops that sent Indians spiraling into poverty."
And it's not just immigrants who feel this way. A recent Canadian survey shows most citizens would rather drop the constitutional monarchy.
Bay argues 2017 is a great year to enact such change. Not only is it a milestone year as we mark 50 years of Confederation, but Immigration Minster Ahmed Hussen has "mandated that the [citizenship] oath include honouring treaties with Indigenous peoples."
"Perhaps this change marks the start of a new era for the oath," says Bay. "Pledging allegiance to the Queen only bolsters a past full of discrimination. Why not scrap mention of the Queen altogether?"