Man set to recant oath to the Queen right after citizenship ceremony

Soon-to-be Canadian Dror Bar-Natan calls the oath ‘repulsive,’ and plans to renege on the pledge as per court advice

Queen Elizabeth II. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

TORONTO – A soon-to-be Canadian has served notice that he plans to recant the mandatory Oath of Allegiance to the Queen immediately after he becomes a citizen.

In a letter sent to the citizenship court judge earlier this month, Dror Bar-Natan states his opposition to the oath, which he calls “repulsive,” and his plan to renege on the pledge following his citizenship ceremony on Monday.

The Queen is a symbol of entrenched and outdated privilege and the pledge is tantamount to a “hazing” ritual, Bar-Natan said in an interview.

“To become a Canadian citizen, I am made to utter phrases which are silly and ridiculous and offensive,” he said. “I don’t want to be there.”

Bar-Natan, 49, a math professor from Israel who has been in Canada for 13 years, was one of three longtime permanent residents who challenged the constitutionality of making citizenship conditional on promising to be “faithful and bear true allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors.”

In upholding the requirement, Ontario’s top court said the Queen remains Canada’s head of state and the oath was a “symbolic commitment to be governed as a democratic constitutional monarchy unless and until democratically changed.”

The court also found that all citizens have the right to espouse anti-monarchist views and new Canadians could “publicly disavow what they consider to be the message conveyed by the oath.”

Bar-Natan said he would follow the court’s advice.

“I will be following precisely what the judges of the Appeal Court effectively suggested,” Bar-Natan said. “I am going to tell the citizenship judge, ‘I hereby completely disavow it’.”

To that end, he has prepared a second letter — copied like the first to the immigration minister and attorney general — that he plans to give the judge immediately after the ceremony formally reneging on the part of the pledge that refers to the Queen.

“I find it regrettable that I have to do this; I have done my best to avoid it,” he writes, according to a draft of the letter seen by The Canadian Press.

Bar-Natan has also set up a website “as a service to others” to allow other new Canadians to publicly disavow their pledge to the Queen.

So far, two others have signed on, including Ashok Charles, who recanted the oath he had made in 1997 in a notarized letter sent to the immigration minister in May 2004. In response, Citizenship and Immigration Canada assured him his status as a Canadian was legally safe.

Peter Rosenthal, a former New Yorker who became a Canadian decades ago and the lawyer in the constitutional battle against the pledge, has also used the website.

“I hereby disavow any implication that I ever affirmed any allegiance to any monarch,” he states.

In the 1990s, former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien was set to scrap the oath to the Queen but got cold feet at the last minute, then-citizenship minister Sergio Marchi has told The Canadian Press.

Rosenthal said he hoped the current Liberal government would finally take the plunge.

“The rest of the oath talks about being a good citizen of Canada — that’s relevant — but why put that in the context of the Queen?”

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Man set to recant oath to the Queen right after citizenship ceremony

  1. Then he can stay an Israeli. If he wants to be a Canadian, he knows what to do.

  2. He can just send in someone else in a niqab claiming to be him to take the oath – problem solved!

  3. In the interests of not having two classes of citizenship, born Canadians should therefore also be required to pledge this oath. Or neither group.

    • Or born Canadians who are troubled by the constitutional foundation upon which Canada was founded 150 years ago can renounce their citizenship. Or convince the rest of it to abandon it in favour of something “better”.

  4. Why does he even want to be a citizen if he can’t respect our customs. Go back home.

  5. Two words in defence of Dror Bar-Natan: King Charles. We allow a person to affirm they will tell the truth in court without using a Bible. We respect individual rights so long as they demonstrate “a moral or ethical sense of right and wrong.” Why must anyone swear “faithful and true allegiance to a foreign Queen, her heirs and successors”? Operative words follow “Queen”.

    Canada is a much richer country with this honest applicant than with someone who lacks morals and/or ethics.

  6. Having reached the third quarter of my life, I pity future generations living in the Republics of Eastern or Western Canada, with presidents/dictators governing under Sharia law.
    I shall not be present, thank God.

  7. quite seriously, if he finds the Oath of Allegiance to be so repulsive .. then maybe he should reconsider taking it in the first place. If he doesn’t like our oath .. well I have a suggestion – go back to Israel … that way you won’t have to be repulsed by the allegiance to her Majesty.

    If it is good enough for Canadian soldiers to die for .. it is good enough for him to accept if he wants to be Canadian. If he doesn’t want the oath .. then he clearly doesn’t want to be a Canadian as he has no understanding of what being a Canadian is.

    You emigrate to Canada – you accept our ways. You DO NOT demand change to suit you.

  8. My family came here in 1848.

    My family is definitely “old stock”.

    I have had to swear the oath of allegiance several times in my life, I am however, both an atheist, and anti monarchist.

    Canada was never meant to be a country that prevents free thought.

  9. I find it appalling that we force new Canadians to swear an oath that hearkens back to a time before Canada became an independent country. Since Canadians born here do not have to swear this oath, it shouldn’t be mandatory for new citizens either. I would prefer a pledge to Canada, not to a far off queen that has no real standing in our country. Hereditary power is an affront to democracy and there is no reason to celebrate that here.

  10. If he does not understand that the Queen represents Canada and the Canadian government then he is not swearing allegiance to this country . If he refuses to, then he does not qualify as a candidate for citizenship.

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