Oath of allegiance to Queen stays as requirement to obtain citizenship

By on February 27, 2015

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OTTAWA — A decision by the Supreme Court of Canada not to hear an appeal in a case means the oath of allegiance to the Queen will stay as a requirement in order to obtain Canadian citizenship.

The court refused today to hear the appeal of three permanent residents who had mounted a charter challenge to the oath requirement.

Michael McAteer, Simone Topey and Dror Bar-Natan are all permanent residents of Canada who wanted to obtain citizenship, but for different reasons, did not want to pledge allegiance to the monarchy.

Topey, a Jamaican, is a Rastafarian and maintains her religion forbids taking an oath to the Queen.

Bar-Natan, an Israeli, argued that the oath represents entrenched privilege he opposes.

McAteer, from Ireland, argued the oath is unnecessary and would violate his conscience.

In September 2013, a lower court judge ruled that any charter violation the oath requirement causes can be justified in a democratic society.

The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that decision last year, prompting the trio to seek leave to appeal before the Supreme Court.

As is customary with the Supreme Court, it gave no reasons for refusing to hear the appeal.