Man renounces oath to the Queen right after becoming Canadian citizen

Dror Bar-Natan swears his oath during a citizenship ceremony in Toronto on Monday, November 30, 2015. After receiving his citizenship, Bar-Natan handed a letter to the presiding judge to recant the portion of the oath that pertains to the Queen.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO - A Toronto man has recanted what he calls the "royalty part" of the mandatory Oath of Allegiance to the Queen after becoming a Canadian citizen this morning.

Dror Bar-Natan, a 49-year-old math professor from Israel, was one of three permanent residents who challenged the constitutionality of making citizenship conditional on the pledge to the Queen, her heirs and successors.

In upholding the requirement, Ontario's top court said the Queen remains Canada's head of state and the oath was a "symbolic commitment to be governed as a democratic constitutional monarchy unless and until democratically changed."

The court also found that all citizens have the right to espouse anti-monarchist views and new Canadians could publicly disavow what they consider to be the message conveyed by the oath.

At a citizenship ceremony in east Toronto, Bar-Natan first swore the oath along with some 80 others, then informed the citizenship judge of his intent to disavow the portion of the oath pledging allegiance to the Queen.

He formally recanted the oath following the ceremony and handed the judge a letter explaining his decision.

Bar-Natan has called the oath "repulsive" and says he hopes his actions pave the way for others who share his view to do the same.

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