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Quebec introduces a bill to end the obligation of the oath to the king

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(Quebec) The Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions, Jean-François Roberge, tabled a bill on Tuesday which, once adopted, will allow PQ members and all members who will not take the oath to King Charles III in the future to sit in the Blue Room and in the parliamentary committees.

Mr. Roberge tabled in Parliament Bill 4, An Act to recognize the oath provided for by National Assembly Act as the only obligatory oath to sit on it. Concretely, this bill amends the Constitution Act of 1867 by removing Quebec from section 128, which provides that deputies must take an oath to the King of England in order to sit.

The CAQ government’s bill now provides that only the oath of loyalty to the people of Quebec, provided for in the National Assembly Act, is required to sit in the Parliament of Quebec. In all likelihood, this bill will pass by Friday, before the holiday break.

“It takes the collaboration of all parliamentarians to adopt a bill that was tabled in the last week of the session,” said the government’s parliamentary leader, Simon Jolin-Barrette.

Earlier in the day, Tuesday, the leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ), Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, said that the abolition of the obligation to swear allegiance to the King of England could interest other Canadian provinces.


PHOTO EDOUARD PLANTE-FRÉCHETTE, THE PRESS

PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon and debutant Joël Arseneau

“It’s very possible that it would have a domino effect and it would make sense because I don’t think the other Canadian provinces find that this oath makes sense,” said Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon, who has not taken the oath to King Charles III and who has been refused access to the Blue Room since the beginning of the parliamentary session.

The interim leader of the Liberal Party, Marc Tanguay, reiterated on Tuesday that his political formation would not require public consultations on the bill, which would have had the effect of delaying its passage. This is a unanimous caucus position, he insisted, even though the Liberals said earlier this fall that consultations were helpful.

“If the government does not want consultation, we will not demand it. And, if it is proposed by the government to adopt quickly, by Friday, […] we will work together to have it adopted on Friday,” he said.

Québec solidaire (QS) co-spokesperson Manon Massé wants Bill 4 to be passed quickly so that she can “move on”

“You will see us very happy if, on Friday, indeed, this question is settled”, she said, while her party also tabled its own bill a few days ago to end the obligation to take the oath to King Charles III.



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