The population invited to abjure its subjection to the monarchy
King Charles succeeds Elizabeth II following her death on September 8, 2022.
“In 2022, being for the British crown is a bit ridiculous when you live in Quebec,” according to comedian Sébastien Ricard, member of the Mon Serment collective. This collective, in collaboration with the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society of Montreal (SSJB) invites the population to participate in a free, citizen and republican swearing-in ceremony on November 19 at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Montreal, and at the same time, abjure its subjection to the monarchy.
“This approach is also in support of the deputies who have shown themselves to be very courageous since the beginning of this story in order to ensure that the oath to kings no longer is no longer an obligatory passage to the National Assembly”, explains the actor.
This initiative is inspired by the fight led by the leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, who also announced his presence this Saturday. He and his fellow MPs have refused to take this oath since their election this fall. Supported for a time by the elected representatives of Québec solidaire, the latter finally backtracked when the former president of the National Assembly, François Paradis, decided that the deputies must take an oath to the king to sit.
Recalling that François Paradis was not elected in 2022, Sébastien Ricard questions the authority of the latter. “Who does he think he is? What is its legitimacy? Frankly, it is almost zero in my eyes and in the eyes of many people.”
According to him, this question should be debated between elected officials, especially since the majority of voters that they represent want the abolition of the monarchy.
A window of opportunity
Sébastien Ricard says it himself, since 1867, the deputies of Quebec are required to swear allegiance to the British crown in order to be able to sit. Why is this dissent suddenly becoming so strong in 2022?
“In my case, it has become more and more unbearable as a situation, supports Sébastien Ricard, adding that to see Paul St-Pierre Plamondon hold on to this question, “it makes the thing in 2022 more possible than ever”.
He also admits that the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II contributes to the window of opportunity to end the oath to the crown.
Nevertheless, this question has been of concern to him for a long time, explains Sébastien Ricard, mentioning in passing a text he had published in Le Devoir in 2018 when the elected officials of Québec solidaire “had wanted to make the news in taking their oath in private.”
“I found it deplorable, it was not at all a way to escape this situation, he judges. I hear it's still their plan to take their oath to the king in private. I find that extremely problematic.”
A cross-party struggle
Sébastien Ricard also wishes to point out that this fight does not only belong to the separatists.
Among the federalists and the sovereignists – apart from perhaps a few deputies of the West Island – there is great unanimity in the National Assembly to end allegiance to the king.
In addition to Paul St-Pierre Plamondon and Sébastien Ricard, artistic and political personalities such as Louise Harel, Pierre-Luc Brillant, Tania Kontoyanni and Brigitte Haentjens will be present this Saturday at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church of Montreal, located on Henri Julien Avenue, at the corner of Rachel Street.
The swearing-in ceremony will be held on November 19 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.