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disavowal.ca

Some links. Petition to the "House of Commons", Republic Now, Citizens for a Canadian Republic.
Kassam @ The Guardian: Royal rejection: naturalised Canadians recant oath of allegiance to Queen.
Perkel @ Toronto Sun: New Canadians lean on court comments to disavow citizenship oath to Queen.
Vrooman @ Toronto Star: It's time to stop swearing oaths to the Queen.
Perkel @ Globe & Mail: Chretien chose not to scrap oath to Queen at last minute.
McCullough @ HuffPost: The Oath to the Queen Is Canada's Hazing Ritual.
Rosenthal @ Globe & Mail: Our case against the Queen's oath.
O'Toole @ The Guardian: I want to be Canadian - but why should I have to swear allegiance to the Queen?.
Mason @ Georgia Straight: It's time Canada removed the Queen from the oath of citizenship.
Hepburn @ The Star: It's time Canada scrapped oath to Queen.
Rouleau @ National Post: We need a new citizenship oath.
Freeman @ Now Toronto: The last word on Trudeau's oath of allegiance to the Queen.
YCYC: Should Canada’s oath of citizenship be changed to remove requirement to pledge allegiance to the monarchy?
VCVC: Est-ce que le serment de citoyenneté canadienne devrait être modifiée pour supprimer l’obligation de prêter serment d’allégeance à la monarchie?

The Canadian Citizenship Oath reads as follows:
I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.
We at disavowal.ca have no qualms regarding the second part of the oath, about the laws and the duties. The first and slightly longer part, about the monarchy, we find bitter to swallow, each for her or his own reasons. Hence each of us disavowed that part, in one way or another.

The purposes of this minimalist web site are:

Is it legal? Ashok Charles took the oath in 1977, publicly recanted its first part in 2004 and insisted on a response from the government. The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration eventually wrote back: "... there are no laws in Canada that state that a person loses citizenship if the individual recants part of the oath that was sworn at the time the individual became a citizen". So the government thinks it's legal. See DisavowalAndResponse.pdf.

Is it recommended? In its ruling upholding the oath, in explaining why the oath does not violate freedom of expression, the Court of Appeal for Ontario had written: "... the appellants have the opportunity to publicly disavow what they consider to be the message conveyed by the oath ..." (2014 ONCA 578, paragraph 76-80). So in effect, the Court suggests that if you are discontent with the message of the oath (and what is an oath if not its message?), then vow and disavow.

How do I join? If you want to register your disavowal in the table below, or if you have a question or a comment, feel free to email Dror Bar-Natan at drorbn@disavowal.ca.

Some Disavowals:

Citizen Oath date / Disavowal date Notes
Ashok Charles 1997 / May 20, 2004 Ashok is the Executive Director of Republic Now. He was the first to disavow the oath, writing to The Honourable Ms. Judy Sgro, then the minister of citizenship and immigration: "It is my view that it is entirely inappropriate for Canada to require of its citizenry, allegiance to a monarch. I see this state-sanctioned subjugation as detrimental to our national spirit and to the fulfillment of Canada's role, internationally, as an independent democracy". His disavowal letter, and the government's response, are here.
Peter Rosenthal Circa 1990 / November 14, 2015 Peter was the primary counsel to the applicants in McAteer v. Canada. His formal disavowal letter is here (pdf, unsigned) and here (jpg, signed). He writes: "In case my silence was or is interpreted as acquiescence, I hereby disavow any implication that I ever affirmed any allegiance to any monarch."
Dror Bar-Natan November 30, 2015 / same day Dror is the curator of this web site and was one of the applicants in McAteer v. Canada. "I sent an intent/explanation letter to the citizenship judge and two government ministers before taking the oath. At the very end of the citizenship ceremony I said to the citizenship judge: I affirm my allegiance, my true allegiance, to Canada and to the people of Canada, yet I wish to disavow the royalty part, and only the royalty part, of the citizenship oath. I then handed him a written disavowal letter. A more complete description of my relationship with the oath is here."
Masrour Zoghi 2001 / November 29, 2015 Masrour: "As someone put it recently, because it's 2015."
Josh Smithson May 16, 2014 / November 29, 2015 Josh: I became a Citizen on May 16th 2014 and was not looking forward to "pledging allegiance" to some woman who was born to privilege.
Karolina Sygula November 20, 1985 / November 29, 2015 Karolina: Monarchies are anachronistic abominations; addressing other human beings as "Your Majesty" or "Your Royal Highness" is utterly absurd. I am no one's subject.
Ali Paknia 2011 / November 29, 2015 Ali: "I cannot be faithful to a person since I'm a free human being".
Jonathan Korman Early 90s / November 30, 2015 Jonathan: "I agree with all you said in your letter about Monarchy being a symbol of privilege".
Suraia Sahar 1993 (by a parent) / November 30, 2015 Suraia: "I pledge my solidarity with the Indigenous people of this land".
Adrian Harper November 21, 1975 / November 30, 2015 Adrian: "at last!", "I was surprised and disappointed to discover that in order to gain my Canadian citizenship, I had to swear an oath, partly, to the queen I thought I'd left behind."
Terence Stone February 11, 2015 / November 30, 2015 Terence: "Since February 11, I have carried the terrible feeling that I compromised my integrity; and so now I'm repairing that harm to myself by disavowing my pledge of allegiance to the Queen and body Royal in perpetuity."
Vincent Delogne 2001 / November 30, 2015 Vincent: "I am proud to be a Canadian citizen but have no feeling of allegiance to the British crown. In fact, I think royalty is an antiquated tradition that has no place in 2015 anywhere in the world, especially not in a modern, dynamic and equalitarian country like Canada."
Songhao Li August 21, 2012 / December 1, 2015 Songhao: "I look forward to the day that Canada becomes a republic."
Maria Marquez 1998 / December 1, 2015 Maria: I took the Oath in 1998 which today December 1st, I disavow. Instead I take this new oath created in 1991 as requested by Citizenship and Immigration Canada "I am a citizen of Canada and I make this commitment: to uphold our laws and freedoms, to respect our people in their diversity, to work for our common well-being and to safeguard and honour this ancient Northern land." I love this country!!!!!
Seyed N. Mousavian March 2012 / December 1, 2015 Seyed: "I hereby disavow any implication that I ever affirmed any allegiance to any monarch."
Harvey Nagelberg April 14, 2003 / December 1, 2015 No comments.
Steven: Bydeley December 12, 1961 (by a parent) / December 1, 2015 and April 1, 2016 Steven: I disavow that I will be "faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors." I pledge instead to stand, as equals, with the people on this geographical land mass known as Canada and the rule of Law, "To live honourably; to hurt nobody; to render to everyone his due."
Gerard Muir June 15, 1983 / December 1, 2015 Gerard: I became a Canadian Citizen June 15, 1983, and consider Canada my home. On December 1, 2015, I disavow the section of the Citizenship oath that pledges allegiance to the British Crown in perpetuity. The British Crown and what is represented by it are incompatible with my values.
Nicolas Le Gall September 1, 2010 / December 1, 2015
My name is Nicolas, originally from France. I have been living in Canada (Montréal) for 10 years and took the oath of Canadian citizenship on September 1st, 2010. I must admit that I have always been sort of ashamed for pledging allegiance to the Queen of England. I would like to bring you my support and thank you for your initiative. Please register my disavowal on your website.

The part of the oath about the Queen has always bothered me for several reasons:
- I feel no allegiance whatsoever to the Queen of ENGLAND.
- Monarchy in general is preposterous, an antiquated sign of the people's submission to a chosen few on dubious grounds.
- Why must we new Canadian citizens take the oath while people who were born Canadians do not have to? Though we had a choice, it seems like a double standard to me.
- Other countries like New Zealand and Australia have removed from their oath the part about the Queen.
- Although I fully understand that it comes with the territory (so to speak), I moved to Québec more than I moved to Canada (which I have nothing against - it's just a vastly different culture). The Queen is even less relevant here, and the most convenient way for me to stay here was to become a Canadian citizen.

Keep up the good work and please don't let a few haters deter you from continuing your fight.

Margaret Buchan
(lawyer's oath)
1993 / December 1, 2015 Margaret: When I was called to the bar in 1993 the oath included allegiance to the Queen. I still remember gritting my teeth. Now that part is optional.

In case anyone cares, I DISAVOW!

Georgi Krumov October 2010 / December 1, 2015 Georgi: I disavow the section of the Citizenship oath that pledges allegiance to the British Crown in perpetuity. I hereby disavow any implication that I ever affirmed any allegiance to any monarch.
Valleri Blake 1975 / December 2, 2015
Valleri: As an immigrant from a former British colony, I was particularly unhappy about the oath which I took in 1975 to become a citizen of this amazing country.
I would like to finally register my disavowal of that oath and proudly substitute a slightly revised Australian version.

"From this time forward, under God, I pledge my loyalty to Canada and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey,"

Patricia Warwick March 8, 1973 / December 2, 2015 Patricia: Here is what I would prefer to have vowed "I affirm that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen." Before coming to Canada I was a British subject, and I was not required to take the oath back there - and I wouldn't have, even there.
Patrice Obertelli 2005 / December 3, 2015 Patrice: Promettre sa fidélité et allégeance à la reine d’Angleterre est politiquement absurde, anachronique et raciste : La reine n’a aucun vrai pouvoir ici et personne ne devrait avoir un privilège dû purement au fait qu’il est sorti d’un ventre plutôt que d’un autre. Le pouvoir héréditaire est un d’autre temps.
Sheila McCrindle 1983 / December 3, 2015
Sheila: I Sheila McCrindle, took the oath of Citizenship in 1983. I did not like swearing allegiance to a monarch then, so I am thankful for the opportunity to disavow the part of the oath in which I said I would swear allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors. I will however continue to be faithful to the laws of Canada and fulfill my role as a Canadian citizen.

Monarchy is such a ridiculous medieval concept. And it’s 2015.

Sujeewa Kumaratunga December 2, 2015 / December 4, 2015
Sujeewa: As it is not in accordance with my democratic principles, I hereby disavow any allegiance to the monarch that might have been implied in the portion of the oath of citizenship, taken on December 2nd, 2015, in Montreal, QC that reads: "I affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors".

This is in accordance with the advice of Weiler, Lauwers and Pardu JJ.A., in their ruling on McAteer v. Canada, 2014 ONCA 578, paragraph 76: "... the appellants have the opportunity to publicly disavow what they consider to be the message conveyed by the oath. ...".

Nassim Noroozi November 21, 2014 / December 5, 2015
Nassim: I took the pledge of allegiance to the Royal family while I was literally shivering: how can one pledge allegiance to a royal family who has inherited a legacy of colonialism and genocide of indigenous peoples of the americas, the peoples whose lands we are standing on while taking the oath?

I believe that fighting for a more ethical and just world is in contradiction with taking this oath. As someone else said, I am hoping to repair my compromised integrity by this disavowal. I wish to publicly disavow my oath and reaffirm my commitment to being a good citizen and an ally to the indigenous people of the Americas - specifically the people of the Haudenosaunee territories.

Asif Rahman 1999 / December 12, 2015 Asif: Effective immediately please register my disavowal to the British monarchy and I reaffirm that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.

I became a Canadian citizen in 1999. I wish I knew then what I know now. I let myself down the day I declared my allegiance to a monarchy who's foreign policy was to invade foreign lands and subjugate its inhabitants.

I have relieved myself from a heavy burden today.

Jake Javanshir 1973 / December 21, 2015 Jake: I came to Canada on August, 1970 and disavow on December, 21, 2015.
I resented the part of the oath in regard to a few privileged people in England in 1970 but could not do anything about it, and resent it up to this day.
My solidarity is to Canada and humanity which is based on justice and decency and being a good citizen of the world, not to an antiquated system of "Royals and Royalties, kings, queens, princesses and on..." which should have been done away with, long long ago. This was a form of abuse of the masses then and still is in one way or another.
No, no allegiance to any family in a country which I have nothing to do with.
Bernie Roycroft 1994 / January 5, 2016 Bernie: I came to Canada from the Republic of Ireland in 1990, became a citizen in 1994, and took the Citizenship Oath feeling like a small child with fingers crossed behind my back. It has nagged my conscience ever since, and thank you for bringing the issue to the fore, and allowing people like me to clear the air. The monarchy, in my view, is a relic of times gone by, and should have no place in today's Canada.
Kerstin Jarecki-Khan April 2006 / January 14, 2016 Kerstin: I disavow any implied allegiance to Royalty, yet uphold the principles of democracy, freedom and compassion as a Canadian citizen.
Eric Dumonteil February 19, 2016 / same day
French, English, then Doc.

French: "J’ai décidé de désavouer la partie du serment de citoyenneté concernant la monarchie car il est assez difficile pour moi d’assumer consciemment de jurer d’être fidèle et de porter sincère allégeance à quelqu’un qui a hérité de ses privilèges, et qui n’a à prouver d’autre mérite que le fait d’être né “enfant de”. A fortiori, comment pourrais-je rationnellement jurer la même chose à ses héritiers et successeurs? Signer un chèque en blanc à des personnes qui n'existent pas? Pas moi. Il semblerait que nous vivions dans un pays libre, les gens qui le veulent sont libres de le faire. Cette partie monarchiste du serment ne devrait pas exister, selon moi."

English: "I have decided to disavow because it is pretty hard for me to assume consciously to swear to be faithful and to bear true allegiance to someone which has inherited of her privileges, and without having to prove any other merit than the fact to be the "child of". A fortiori, how could I rationally swear the same thing to her heirs and successors? Signing a blank check to some people that don’t exist yet? Not for me. It seems that we are living in a free country, people who want to do that are free to do it. This monarchy part of the oath doesn’t have to exist, according me."

Doc: LetterToJudge.pdf

Ezra de Leon 2002 / February 28, 2016 Ezra: When I swore my citizenship oath in 2002 I thought of the oath to the Queen as a pointless formality. However, upon reflection since then I realized that it is undemocratic to force a new Canadian to swear allegiance to an unelected and unaccountable hereditary ruler who doesn't even reside in Canada. Monarchy is an outdated and unnecessary system and the fact that many Canadians still feel beholden to the English royal family is an embarrassment. Canada is a modern country that deserves to stand on its own and does not need to harbour such provincial attitudes. The oath to the Queen must be removed and Canada must become a republic.
Vahid R. Afshar April 2, 2014 / February 29, 2016 Vahid: Folks, by taking a look into history, being loyal to the royal family of England (United Kingdom of Great Britain), which has inherited a legacy of colonialism of indigenous peoples of the americas and those people whose lands we are standing on, while taking the oath in the twenty-first century, is morally not right. For this reason I disavow that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty. Instead, I affirm my allegiance to Canada and to the people of Canada.
Chi Shun Hui 1987 / March 9, 2016 Chi Shun: To right the wrong of the past, I wish to have an aboriginal person as a first elected president in Canada.

Read Chi Shun's full letter to the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Lorraine Harrilal March 14, 2016 / same day Lorraine's disavowal letter is titled "Love for Canada: Repudiation of Monarchy".

Click on it for the full size version.

Dominique Liboiron
(federal employee's oath)
May, 2003 / March 17, 2016 I, Dominique Liboiron, publicly disavow the allegiance I swore to Queen Elizabeth II and her successors. I was led to believe this is a condition of employment with the federal government and was told that I wouldn't be paid until I signed the oath. Coercion isn't a Canadian value. Neither should be submission to a foreign monarch. I encourage you to speak with your elected officials to express your desire for Canada to detach itself from the royal family. I'm embarrassed that so many citizens don't want Canada to stand on its own two feet. We are no longer an English colony.
Bill Bedford January, 2016 / March 31, 2016 Bill: I became a Canadian citizen in Jan 2016 and I'd like to join your list. I am a Brit by birth and believe both countries would be much better of ditching this anachronistic institution.
Graham Morton ? / March 31, 2016 Graham: I made the oath at my citizenship swearing-in at the age of 16 along with my family. I was shocked and angered at the time but didn't want to embarass my parents. As an anti-monarchist I was surprised that the oath was included, but the anger came from the fact that in such a modern country, a reasonable person would be coerced into supporting an outdated and irrelevent concept in order to participate fully in society. It is a sneaky and dishonest way to distort the level of support for a an institution that represents the predatory and obsolete traditions people came to Canada to escape.
Marcia Sarjudeen November 11, 2014 / April 14, 2016 Marcia: I did not wish to pledge my allegiance to any individual. I felt uncomfortable doing it because it went against my principles. The United States gives the citizenship candidate an opportunity to waive parts of the oath (see here). This should also be the case in a forward thinking country like Canada which considers itself to be a tolerant soceity. I therefore through this website publicly disavow on this day April 14th 2016, the oath I made to the Queen and her successors on the day of my citizenship November 11th 2014.
Srabon Salim April 29, 2016 / same day The Prince George Citizen: New citizen takes stand against swearing allegiance to the Queen.
Gwyn Campbell November 4, 2016 / same day Gwyn: I salute the commitment to multiculturalism, defined in “Discover Canada” as a “fundamental characteristic of the Canadian heritage and identity.” However, as a Welsh-speaking Welshman, French-speaking resident of Québec, and Canada Research Chair in Indian Ocean World History at McGill University, I am acutely conscious that for many in this plural society the Crown represents a deeply divisive history of English colonialism and imperial exploitation.

Read Gwyn Campbell's full disavowal letter.

Khushwant Singh Aulakh 2006 / November 8, 2016 Khushwant: I took my citizenship oath in 2006 and I was gritting my teeth when I had to owe allegiance to the Monarchy. Now I have an opportunity to make the right choice.

I, KHUSHWANT SINGH AULAKH, publicly disavow the allegiance I swore to Queen Elizabeth II and her successors.

Tom McMahon
(lawyer's / federal employee's oath)
1986 and 1991 / November 24, 2016 Tom: I likely swore an oath of allegiance to the Queen when I became a lawyer in Manitoba in 1986 and/or when I joined the federal public service in 1991. To be clear, I wish to ensure that I am on record as disavowing any such oath. I feel no allegiance whatsoever to the Protestant heirs and successors of Sophia of Hanover. I completely reject the reasoning of the the Ontario Court of Appeal in McAteer. My allegiance is to a democratic Canada, the rule of law especially the values expressed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, my fellow Canadians and to honouring the treaties and indigenous rights of the original peoples of this land.

This site is maintained by Dror Bar-Natan of drorbn@disavowal.ca.