Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Oath

Our Minister of Immigration and Citizenship who is also responsible for Multiculturalism, the Hon. Jason Kenny ordered yesterday that anyone taking the Canadian Oath of Citizenship had to be seen and heard by the Judge administering the Oath and it had to be done in either of Canada's Official Languages, French or English.  Since 1977 and until now the Oath was taken in various forms, in a variety of languages and the Judge or Consul administering the Oath could not be certain if the person understood what was happening.  The new measure clearly spells out that the Judge who administers the Oath of Citizenship has to see the person's face and hear them say it in our Official Languages since it is a legal process.

It's the old principle come forth and be heard which is the principle of Justice given by the King under the Oak tree, it goes back at least one thousand year if not more. However there are people who are screaming loudly against such a simple measure. The media has turned this into a feminist issue because it involves Muslim women who wear face covering in public. Editorials on Freedom, Tolerance and accommodation, Canada being such a welcoming country, allowing just about anything to please just about everybody. I have come to understand that the free Press is not about informing you as it is about fomenting discord in society under the guise of trying to inform you. A lot of the editorials are half baked and ill conceived and gloss over facts by being facile.

The measure announced clearly states that anyone, man or woman, even a child over the age of 14 must show their face to the judge so that he can see them pronounce and make the Oath. It is not just a question of hearing someone but of seeing them. It is a public gesture you are showing yourself in public and affirming your allegiance to the Crown and to the Country. But again the critics say we should not even ask foreigners to take the Oath, apparently is infringes on their rights. They should become citizens simply because they are here. What a concept, more a fantasy really. Other Western countries demand that you speak the National language to be able to drive a car or become a Citizen. Exam are given in the National language and you have to pass a test administered by a Government inspector, the pass mark is high and citizenship is given after a long painstaking exam. In Canada we simply ask that you go through what can be called a simplified process and take an Oath in public. I think here of the American process or the French, Italian, Polish, German, Swiss, Austrian or British processes to acquire Citizenship, much more difficult than Canada. So why the indignant cries from the media?

In a Court of Law, you swear in front of a judge and everyone present that you will tell the Truth, when you marry, you say to all assembled that you are entering into matrimony, it is your pledge. It is something we do here in Canada, our pledges, our Oaths are public displays, it is our tradition. It should be pointed out that in Canada to obtain a driver's licence which is a Provincial jurisdiction you are required to show your face to obtain a driving permit because an ID photo is inserted into the driving permit, no one Muslim or otherwise has protested. But wait, for Canadian Citizenship which is a high privilege, you have all this moaning. Why?

What I have noticed in the last 25 years in Canada is an evolution, there are some people and they are loud, who simply  reject any notion that belonging to a society, any society, involves responsibility to others or duty to that society. There are many selfish people who only wish to take and see what they can get for themselves.  Rejecting commonly held values for such people has become a virtue. The Oath of Citizenship in certain quarters has been ridiculed amongst many other public symbols which makes our Canadian identity.

What I find particularly disturbing is the CBC, the State broadcaster, making itself the mouthpiece of such groups, giving them a platform. People are encouraged to phone in and voice their opinion, so the sample of calls being broadcasted ridicule the notion of Citizenship as not important, taking an Oath is not important, it does not matter. Our society is Patriarchal so of course men tell these Muslim women that they cannot cover their faces in public. It is dangerous, to have men say such things we are told. The Citizenship Oath is just a ceremony of no importance apparently. We are asking foreigners who wish to become Citizens to jump through hoops like circus animals. Since when is taking an Oath comparable to some kind of cheap trick? This last remark comes from a University Professor in Ottawa, presented as an expert.  The number of offensive remarks being broadcasted on the CBC are nothing short of shocking and maybe this is what the public broadcaster wants, shock value for ratings. Responsibility, Civic duty is not important because individual rights come first. What appears to be important is the notion of what can the Country do for me, is this the last stages of a culture of entitlement.

I am just happy that the Government has finally taken steps to ensure that the Citizenship Ceremony is restored to what it was intended to be to begin with, a dignified affirmation of the wish to become a Canadian Citizen. Foreigners need to understand that in taking this Oath, you have duties and responsibilities and that you will be asked to uphold certain principles, one of which is that we are all equals as Citizens and that women cannot as is the case in certain cultures, made into second class persons with no voice. In an open society like ours certain foreign cultural concepts have to be abandoned if you wish to be part of our Canadian Society, for the sake of harmony and social peace.

Certain cultural habits you bring with you from foreign lands are a private matter and not part of who we are as a Nation, you do not like how we live as Canadians, fine, but, if you wish to become a Citizen of Canada, you will have to accept our basic principles. Canadian Citizenship is a privilege not
a right!

The Oath of Canadian Citizenship

I swear (or 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.

Further this week a poll by Forum research reveals that 81% of Canadians overwhelmingly support the decision of the Government to have no veils or face coverings at Citizenship Oath Ceremonies.

1 comment:

  1. Hear,hear!! People will actually have to speak our language to become citizens!!