Eastern Ontario town council to debate mandatory oath to King Charles

The debate on elected officials pledging allegiance to King Charles III will shift to a small town south of Ottawa this week, as Prescott town council discusses a motion on whether to abolish the requirement for newly elected members.

The Quebec legislature passed a bill in December to make the oath of allegiance to the monarch optional for elected members. Bill 4 stipulates that elected members of the Quebec legislature are only required to say an oath of allegiance to the people of Quebec, while swearing an oath to the King will be optional.

A notice of motion for Monday’s Prescott town council meeting recommends council request the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing consider amending the Ontario Municipal Act to eliminate the obligatory oath to King Charles when elected, or make it optional.

Under the Ontario Municipal Act, an individual cannot take their seat on council until they take the Declaration of Office in English or French, which is established by the province.

Line 4 of the Declaration of Office states, “I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles the Third.”

The motion for Prescott town council, tabled by Coun. Lee McConnell, states, “The current Declaration of Office forces a duly elected official to swear allegiance to the King rather than the country, province, and community from whence elected.”

If Prescott town council approves the motion, it will be sent to Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark, Premier Doug Ford and all municipalities across Ontario.

CTV News Ottawa reached out to Coun. McConnell over the weekend, but had not heard back by Sunday afternoon.

Prescott Mayor Gauri Shankar does not support changing the oath of office that pledges allegiance to the King.

“I support the current oath and have absolutely no intention in support McConnell’s motion,” Shankar said in an email to CTV News Ottawa.

With files from The Canadian Press

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