Ontario's Court of Appeal upholds oath of citizenship ruling

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TORONTO - Ontario's top court has dismissed a constitutional challenge to the oath of citizenship launched by three permanent residents who refuse to swear allegiance to the Queen.

The Citizenship Act requires applicants for citizenship to swear or affirm they will be "faithful and bear true allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors."

The three long-time permanent residents had argued before the Ontario Court of Appeal that they oppose the oath on religious or conscientious grounds, arguing the requirement was discriminatory and unjust.

With its decision issued today, the appeals court upheld a ruling by the Ontario Superior Court, which dismissed the claim, saying the provision is constitutional, even if it does violate free-speech rights.

Selwyn Pieters, one of the lawyers involved in the case, says the trio will be seeking leave to the Supreme Court of Canada.

He says the case is about upholding constitutional rights and values that are near and dear to Canadians.

Organizations: Ontario Superior Court, Supreme Court of Canada

Geographic location: Ontario, TORONTO

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