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More than half of Canadians oppose Oath of Allegiance to the Queen

A Leger poll for the Association of Canadian Studies found that 56 per cent of respondents did not agree with swearing allegiance to the Queen
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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II inspects the keys presented by Lord Provost Robert Aldridge, left, during the Ceremony of the Keys on the forecourt of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh during her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week, Monday, June 27, 2022. Most people in Canada do not think "new Canadians" should have to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen and her heirs when they take the oath of citizenship, according to a poll ahead of Canada Day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-PA, Jane Barlow

OTTAWA — Most people in Canada do not think people should have to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Queen, according to a poll ahead of Canada Day.

A Leger poll for the Association of Canadian Studies found that 56 per cent of respondents did not agree with swearing allegiance to the Queen. 

New Canadians have to swear an oath to the monarchy at citizenship ceremonies including a pledge to “be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors."

Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, said most people born in Canada were probably unaware that new Canadians had to swear an oath to be faithful to the Royal Family.

"If you ask Canadians about their identity, few would mention the monarchy," he said.

The poll of 2,118 people earlier this month cannot be assigned a margin of error because online panels are not considered truly random samples. 

While 58 per cent of those who responded are positively disposed toward the Queen, with only 28 per cent negatively disposed, Canadians are evenly divided — 40 per cent positively and 40 per cent negatively — in their view of the monarchy overall. 

The poll asked whether, "as a Canadian, we should all agree to be faithful and bear true allegiance" to the Queen and her heirs.

Those who are very favourable toward the monarchy were more likely to approve of pledging allegiance. 

Sixty per cent of men and 52 per cent of women who did the survey answered no. Opposition was stronger among Canadians aged 18-34 than those over the age of 55. 

Almost three-quarters of people living in Quebec opposed the oath, compared to only 47 per cent in Alberta. 

A large proportion of those polled — including 20 per cent of women — said they had no view or did not want to answer.

Canada is a constitutional monarchy, with the Queen as the head of state. She is represented federally by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, and at a provincial level by lieutenant-governors. 

Any change to the position of the Queen or her representatives in Canada would need the unanimous consent of the House of Commons, the Senate and provincial legislatures. 

Taking an oath of citizenship is the final step in becoming a Canadian citizen. Ceremonies take place across the country, with special ceremonies on Canada Day.

New Canadians must also promise to faithfully observe the laws of Canada.

Earlier this month, the Queen celebrated her platinum jubilee with celebrations in Canada, the U.K. and across the Commonwealth. She ascended the throne at age 27 in 1952 and is England's longest-serving monarch.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2022. 

Marie Woolf, The Canadian Press