LETTER: Local councils must swear allegiance to the monarch

I note that three of the Saanich councillors sworn in on Nov. 5 did not swear the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, while Her Majesty looked down upon them from her portrait hanging on the wall behind.

Can we infer from this that these three councillors don’t really like it that Canada has a monarch as head of state, and might even prefer that Canada not use the British parliamentary system of government? Just what point are these three councillors trying to make by their omission?

These three councillors need to understand that there is a reason that elected officials swear the oath of allegiance to the monarch and that is because all statutes in Canada and British Columbia are enacted by the monarch with the advice and consent of elected parliamentarians.

While local government bylaws are not so directly enacted, they are enacted under the authority of the Community Charter, a statute enacted with royal assent.

Therefore, by extension, local councils should be swearing allegiance to the monarch, and I wonder why newly-elected councillors have the option of either swearing the oath of allegiance or not doing so?

David Waldie


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