An Ontario Superior Court Justice, Edward Morgan ruled on Friday it is okay for Canada to require new citizens to take an oath to the Queen. Justice Morgan is right, after all if someone doesn't wish to take the oath - they can stay home.
The suit was brought on by three immigrant Canadians who claim their human rights were violated when they took an oath to the Queen to become Canadian. They say taking an oath to the county is enough. But while I'm not a supporter of the Queen and have written in support of removing her as our titular head of state, until the majority of Canadians say otherwise the pledge should remain.
The pledge of allegiance to the Queen is not a violation of human rights because there is choice involved and becoming a Canadian is not a basic human right. Indeed, many are denied for one reason or another.
Oath of allegiance: freedom to go elsewhere
Michael McAteer is a 79-year-old retired journalist who moved to Canada from his native Ireland 50 years ago and made the pledge then. Mr. McAteer is one of the three complainants and claims his father was persecuted for supporting Irish independence and that being forced to pledge an oath to the British crown was unfair and violated his rights. But if he did not like the way Canada conducted its business he was free to find another country to immigrate to or free to stay in his beloved Ireland.
Nothing but his own desires forced him to take that oath.
The other two applicants with McAteer were Israeli-Canadian Dror Bar-Natan and Simone Topey, born in Jamaica. The three have absurdly complained that born in Canada Canadians don't have to take the pledge. Well, that's because we're homegrown and collectively we decided that we have in effect taken an oath by being so.
Human Rights: Bar can't be set too high
Justice Morgan called the pledge "compelled speech" but "reasonable" compelled speech. However, Ms. Topey, a Rastafarian, views the Queen as the “head of Babylon” and opines that as someone whose taken the oath she can't speak out against the Queen.
Only Justice Morgan noted Canada was “born in debate rather than revolution, reflecting a commitment to engaging even while disagreeing with each other and the governing Crown." In other words, Ms. Topey is free to speak out against the Queen. So while Canada has a history of connection to British culture, along with French and First Nations cultures. if these applicants wish to argue that should no longer be nothing prevents them from doing just that.
But while becoming a Canadian has the privilege of freedom of speech to become one you have to take the pledge. When it comes to that, we call the shots.
Don't like it? Don't come.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com