Parliamentarians to vote.
With the upcoming coronation of King Charles III, the Canadian province of Quebec is resurfacing a debate on the country’s ties to the British monarchy. On Wednesday, parliamentarians will vote on whether Canada should sever ties with the monarchy after Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet tabled a motion that forced a conversation in the House of Commons about the Crown. His move follows the refusal of 14 recently-elected Quebec politicians to recite an oath of allegiance to the King during their swearing-in to the provincial legislature, as required by Canadian law.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Blanchet admitted that his motion is likely to fail, but he said the failure will show Quebecers that federal politicians “prefer to support the King than the people.” In Canada, the monarch – now King Charles – is the head of state.
The monarchy serves a mainly symbolic role, with the power to govern entrusted to the Canadian government. Changing the current system would need approval from both the House of Commons and the Senate in parliament, as well as the unanimous consent of all 10 provinces. Members of Canada’s governing Liberal party have already said they will oppose the motion.
While Mr. Blanchet’s motion may fail, the future of Quebec politicians who refused to swear the oath to the Crown remains uncertain. Their refusal could lead to a bill that seeks to redefine the requirement to take the oath of allegiance in the province – if they are able to sit in Quebec’s legislature at all – and political watchers say they are eager to see how the dispute unfolds.