Canada and Me
Canada is a truly wonderful country. In my opinion, one of the best there are, and definitely better than the other two countries in which I have lived for long periods of time, Israel and the United States. Yet in the foreseeable future I doubt I will sign the Canadian Oath of Citizenship, and hence I doubt I will become a Canadian citizen any time soon. The oath 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, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.
The laws are fine; I'm ready to observe them and to fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen. But allegiance to the Queen? This or any, or a king, or their heirs? No, that's not for me. Royalty represents that some people may be born with a state-sanctioned privilege. This is hard for me to stomach. (And if royalty is a stain, a state-sanctioned stain is harder to stomach).
I can imagine a future time when dire needs, or merely the wish to better take part in the civil life of the country I live in, will lead me to change my position, tell a little white lie, and take the oath. But probably not for a while, and possibly never.
Just to be clear, I regret this greatly. I would much rather be a Canadian citizen.
The section above was written in January 2008 and it still correctly described my thoughts. Yet things are happening! A log of developments is in the sections further down. For quick reference, here are some links to the most important documents:
|Document||Link||Posted / Modified|
|Applicant's Factum (in practice, a summary of our case)||2013-06-13|
|The application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice||2012-11-21|
|Affidavit of Michael McAteer (the "first" applicant)||2012-11-12|
|Affidavit of Simone E.A. Topey (the "second" applicant)||2012-11-12|
|Affidavit of Ashok Charles||2012-11-12|
|Affidavit of Howard Jerome Gomberg||2012-11-12|
|Affidavit of Randall White||2012-11-12|
Further documents and links are in.
Added July 19, 2012
On July 19, 2012 I have decided to start the process of becoming a Canadian citizen on July 31, 2012, exactly 10 years after my arrival to Canada and long after my wife and kids have become citizens. I will however uphold the following:
- For any $ amount I will be spending on becoming Canadian (fees, photographs, photocopies, stamps, anything) I will donate 10 times as much to Citizens for a Canadian Republic or a similar organization. If the expense will force a delay in the proceedings, the proceedings will be delayed. A summary of these expenses and donations will be posted here.
- On the day that I will take my citizenship oath (if it will not be changed by then), I will write a personal yet public letter to the Canadian monarch acknowledging being bound by the oath yet asking her/him to release me from the "allegiance to a monarch" part of that oath, and explaining my reasons for wishing not to be bound by an oath to a monarch.
Added August 7, 2012
On August 7, 2012 I paid $15.81 for two passport photos of myself and donated $158.10 to Citizens for a Canadian Republic. Those photos look just like passport photos; evidence on the right.
Added September 16, 2012
Over the last week I learned of a lawsuit against the government of Canada aiming to drop the requirement to affirm allegiance to a monarch; most likely I will be joining that lawsuit as one of the applicants. I will be posting material related to that lawsuit at. At the moment there are only two files there:
- - the notice of application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, as filed on June 18, 2012.
- - my own affidavit on that matter.
Added September 22, 2012
I have just sent my application for a Canadian citizenship (the oath itself is still about a year away, assuming reasonable processing times). The fee for the application was $200 and the postage $14.58. I have therefore put aside an amount of $2,145.80 to be spent on the above lawsuit, at the discretion of the lawyer pursuing it, Peter Rosenthal.
Added October 4, 2012
Sad news: I have just learned from Peter Rosenthal that the "first applicant" in our lawsuit against the government of Canada, Charlie Roach, passed away a few days ago. The lawsuit moves on, of course.
Good news: I have also learned from Peter that the date for the hearing of the suit has been set to be July 12, 2013.
Added November 1, 2012
Added November 8, 2012
My friend Brendan McKay wrote:
- Good luck with that. We in Australia still have that queen person but we got rid of swearing allegiance to her long ago. New citizens have to make the following pledge, but can choose to leave out "under God" if they want:
- From this time forward, [under God,]
- I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,
- whose democratic beliefs I share,
- whose rights and liberties I respect, and
- whose laws I will uphold and obey.
Added November 12, 2012
Some new affidavits at:
- - the first-named applicant.
- - the second-named applicant.
- , who signed the oath under duress.
- , who signed the oath under duress.
- - an expert witness.
Added November 21, 2012
Three things today:
- I got an envelope from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, confirming that they are processing my application for citizenship.
- I got confirmation from Peter Rosenthal that I was formally added as an applicant to the application (lawsuit) ( ), and that the application itself was slightly revised, mostly to reflect the name changes. The revised application is .
- I've added a "Quick Links" section near the top of this page.