Citizenship is about class not race

Don’t buy Evan Balgord’s contention that a Canadian citizenship ceremony is “a celebration of our shared values” (NOW, May 17-23), because if you do, you have to accept that the principle of equality is not one of those values. Your readers, and new Canadians, should know that the pledge of allegiance to the Queen, and her heirs and successors, which forms part of our citizenship oath, is entirely dispensable.

I am a naturalized Canadian and, in 2004, I officially recanted this portion of the citizenship oath by submitting a notarized document to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The document also re-affirmed my commitment to the latter part of our citizenship oath, which requires me to “faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.” The federal government acknowledged my recantation, in writing, and confirmed that it had not affected my citizenship.

It’s time Canada followed Australia’s example by excising this archaic and inappropriate pledge of fealty to British royalty from our citizenship protocols.

Ashok Charles, Executive Director, Republic Now


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