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QS will swear to the king, the isolated PQ



(Québec) The 11 deputies of Québec solidaire (QS) will take the oath to Charles III, in the hope of having the Coalition avenir Québec adopt a bill to make this “useless and archaic” gesture optional.

“We are going to take our responsibilities, enter the Blue Room, and ensure that no one is forced to take this humiliating oath again,” said parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois in a written communication released early Thursday morning.

In mid-October, the Parti Québécois (PQ) and QS refused to pledge allegiance to the crown during their swearing-in ceremony. They were trying to negotiate a passageway to avoid this ritual considered obsolete.

However, on Tuesday, the President of the National Assembly, François Paradis, cut short the debate: as long as the oath is not completed, they will not be able to sit in the Blue Room or in a parliamentary committee, even if it means being expelled. He also ruled that it was not possible to remedy the situation by a simple parliamentary motion, as the PQ wants, but rather by a law.

Sit to vote

But to pass a law, you have to sit in the Blue Room, and therefore… take an oath to Charles III. “The decision of the President of the Assembly is very disappointing, but it is clear and without appeal: to correct this injustice for good, a bill must be passed. […] When you want to change the rules of the game, you can’t rely on others. You have to do it yourself. We are going to take our responsibilities, enter the Blue Room, and ensure that no one is forced to take this humiliating oath again,” explained Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.

However, he believes that the position of the two political parties was not useless, since it forced the hand of the Coalition avenir Québec. On Thursday, François Legault’s party pledged to adopt a law: “We are ready to table a bill quickly to ensure that the oath of allegiance to the king is put to an end,” said the Minister of Justice. and CAQ parliamentary leader Simon Jolin-Barrette.


The leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon

With this decision of QS, the PQ finds itself isolated. On Wednesday, PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon maintained a hard line. “Lying and perjuring myself as the first act as an elected official is sincerely repugnant to me. To swear allegiance to the representative of the Anglican Church is sincerely repugnant to me. And no, I do not intend to take the oath, ”he said in a press scrum.

Take time

However, he said that other options were on the table, for example asking Pascal Bérubé or Joël Arseneau – the two other elected members of the PQ – to take an oath to sit, or simply to stay on the sideline. until a bill is passed.

It is unlikely that the Liberal Party will give its consent for the rapid adoption of the piece of legislation: it had moreover refused to do so in June. This would mean that the PQ deputies, if they persist, will have to be patient at least until the spring.

Québec solidaire says its first move will be to table its own version of a bill to make the oath to the king optional. This should not pose a problem since the left-wing party has already tabled a first version in 2019.

The party also pledges to work with the leader of the PQ to “resolve the current impasse” and says it is still open to “table a motion to allow all deputies to sit without taking the controversial oath”. “We will use all the means at our disposal to unblock the dead end. But to do so, you have to sit,” said Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.

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