Parti Québécois still refuses oath of office to king as Quebec legislature resumes
QUEBEC — The three Parti Québécois members who have steadfastly refused to take the oath of office to King Charles III found themselves outside on Tuesday as the Quebec legislature reopened without them.
Since winning their seats in the October 3 election, the three-member PQ caucus has taken a stand against what they say is the “humiliating” oath to the king. The 122 other members of the legislature have all taken the oath.
As the assembly reopened for the first time since the election on Tuesday, PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon told reporters he and his two colleagues will attempt to enter the legislature later in the week.
“We feel that…to demean ourselves to the point of perjury in front of the King of (Canada), this is not acceptable because there are solutions,” said St-Pierre Plamondon.
To take office, elected members of Quebec must take two oaths of allegiance: one to the people of Quebec and another – as required by the Canadian Constitution – to the King. Outgoing president François Paradis ruled in November that all elected members must take the oath to the king, otherwise they risk being expelled from the legislature.
The PQ leader called on newly appointed chairman Nathalie Roy to reconsider her predecessor’s decision.
“We decided not to make a big splash today and just reached out (to Roy) and said, ‘You have that power, because internal management is entirely up to you, to give a very simple instruction to get us in. let’,” St — said Pierre Plamondon.
On Tuesday, Roy became the second woman ever to hold the position of Speaker.
Prime Minister François Legault will deliver his inaugural speech on Wednesday, outlining his government’s priorities. Legault told reporters Tuesday he sees two major challenges: creating a “green” economy and halting the decline of the French language, particularly in Montreal.
St-Pierre Plamondon said his party does not want to create a scene and will wait until after Legault’s speech to try to enter the legislature – known as the Blue Room – and see how the government reacts. St-Pierre Plamondon wouldn’t speculate on what he would do if the sergeant-at-arms refuses to let the PQ caucus in.
Earlier in the day, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-leader of Québec Solidaire, said his party planned to introduce a bill on Thursday that would make the oath to the king optional, adding that he thought there was a desire was to deal with the file quickly. . His party had also refused to take the oath, but relented after Paradis threatened to expel them.
“If you want to change the game, you have to play the game,” said Nadeau-Dubois. “If you want to change an institution, you have to be in that institution to change the rules of that institution.”
Simon Jolin-Barrette, the justice minister and leader of the government house, has said his party will introduce a bill next week to make the oath optional. “It is our wish that it is passed before Christmas,” Jolin-Barrette told reporters.
The legislature will sit for a total of eight days before closing for the holiday season on Dec. 9. The reopening is scheduled for the end of January.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 29, 2022.
The Canadian Press
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