House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Supplementary Estimates (A)
Government Orders

5:55 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

The members of the official opposition will vote nay.

Supplementary Estimates (A)
Government Orders

5:55 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, Reform members present will be voting no with the exception of those who wish to vote otherwise.

Supplementary Estimates (A)
Government Orders

5:55 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Madam Speaker, New Democrats vote no.

Supplementary Estimates (A)
Government Orders

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Nunziata York South—Weston, ON

Madam Speaker, I will be voting yes on this matter.

Supplementary Estimates (A)
Government Orders

5:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed.)

Supplementary Estimates (A)
Government Orders

5:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

It being six o'clock, the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

November 21st, 1996 / 5:55 p.m.

Liberal

Warren Allmand Notre-Dame-De-Grâce, QC

moved that Bill C-223, an act to amend the Citizenship Act (oath of allegiance), be read the second time and referred to committee.

Madam Speaker, Bill C-223 proposes to amend the Citizenship Act and, in particular, to amend the oath of allegiance which individuals must take when they become new citizens. For the most part these are immigrants who have been resident in Canada for at least three years and have met the requirements for Canadian citizenship. In order to finally become a citizen they must take the oath of allegiance.

At present the oath of allegiance reads:

I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, 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.

It is my experience that this oath comes as a surprise to many new citizens. Many cannot understand why, if they are becoming Canadian citizens, the principal thrust of this oath is to pledge allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II who, in their opinion, is a citizen of the United Kingdom and not truly representative of Canada.

The purpose of this oath and any oath of allegiance is to pledge allegiance to assure loyalty and to assure good citizenship. Consequently, one would expect that the principal thrust would be allegiance to Canada, to assure loyalty to Canada and good Canadian citizenship and not loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II.

The present oath is ambiguous. It speaks of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II, and later asks persons "to fulfil one's duties as a Canadian citizen". This is confusing and ambiguous. At a time when national unity is under attack there should be no ambiguity and no confusion with respect to our oath of allegiance. It should be absolutely clear that our loyalty is to Canada and not, unfortunately, to the tainted monarchy in the United Kingdom.

As a result my proposed oath, which is in the bill, would read:

I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Canada and the Constitution of Canada, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

That oath is not ambiguous. There would be no confusion in the minds of new citizens. In taking such an oath they would know that they were making a serious commitment to Canada.

The present oath refers to Queen Elizabeth II as the Queen of Canada. It is true that the present Citizenship Act and some other laws use the expression "the Queen of Canada" but it is a legal fiction. It is not a reality. Queen Elizabeth II is as English as you can get. She is not a Canadian. She is not representative of Canada.

In recent history there have been several occasions when Canada disagreed with the United Kingdom and voted against the United Kingdom at the United Nations. The most flagrant case was in the Suez crisis, when according to the legal fiction the Queen of Canada voted against the Queen of England even though she is the same person.

If we want citizens to be truly loyal to Canada should we use such an absurd fiction? This proposal to change the oath of allegiance is consistent with other steps which we in Canada have taken since the end of the second world war to assert our national identity and our maturity.

I have in mind first of all the Citizenship Act of 1947. Prior to 1947 we did not have a Citizenship Act. We were merely British subjects. The first Canadian Governor General was appointed in the late 1940s. Prior to that we had English Governors General. Since that time all our Governors General have been Canadian.

In the late 1940s the Privy Council was abolished as the final court of appeal for Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada was established as our final court of appeal. In 1964 the present Canadian flag was adopted as our unique and only Canadian flag. In the 1980s O Canada was adopted as our national anthem and we no longer have God Save the Queen as our anthem. Finally in 1981 the Constitution was repatriated to make our Constitution a fully Canadian document.

Recent studies and polls have supported such a change. Last summer consultants for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration held 12 sessions with Canadian citizens in various cities of Canada: Vancouver, Lethbridge, Toronto, Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Halifax. Strong opposition was voiced in these sessions by citizens to swearing allegiance to the Queen. Most preferred an oath which pledged loyalty to Canada.

A similar study was done when David Crombie was secretary of state in a Conservative government in 1987, but unfortunately no change was made at that time.

This is not a bill to abolish the monarchy. It is simply to change the emphasis in our oath of allegiance. The abolition of the monarchy would require a constitutional amendment and I am not proposing a constitutional amendment. My proposal is to pledge allegiance to the Constitution of Canada. It still includes the monarchy so it is a question of emphasis.

This bill would not abolish the monarchy but is consistent with other measures taken. It would downplay the role of the monarchy in Canada as it was when we adopted O Canada as our national anthem rather than God Save the Queen, when we adopted the Canadian flag, the Canadian Governor General and so on. I am proposing that we continue in the same tradition.

This change would not in any way change our role in the Commonwealth. Several Commonwealth countries like India and others are republics yet they still remain strong members of the Commonwealth and accept the Queen as the head of the Commonwealth, but that is a different matter.

I am proposing an oath which will emphasize Canada rather than Queen Elizabeth II. I am not wed to the exact words of the new oath in my bill. If someone in this House or elsewhere can come up with better words or expressions that have the same goal, to place the emphasis on Canada, then I would certainly be pleased to accept such a change.

My goal in doing this is Canadian unity and loyalty to a united Canada. The people of the United Kingdon are our friends and allies but they are a separate, independent country and no longer the masters of Canada. Let us have a made in Canada oath for Canadians, for Canada.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Madam Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to speak to Bill C-223 on the oath of allegiance, tabled on March 6 by the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

The hon. member proposes to replace the present oath of allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and

successors, with an oath of allegiance to Canada and the Constitution of Canada. The new text would read as follows:

I swear ( or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Canada and the Constitution of Canada, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

This is the fourth time the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce has tabled this kind of bill. The other bills were introduced in 1972, 1988, 1989 and 1991.

Some of the arguments made by the hon. member in support of this bill are as follows: the Queen is the head of state of several Commonwealth countries; it is hard to decide to whom our loyalty should go, when Canada has a disagreement with other Commonwealth countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand.

We note that citizens of British origin, which include the hon. member, represent only 23 per cent of the Canadian population. The remaining percentage consists of francophones, native people and people from many other countries.

As we know, all new citizens must swear allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors. Immigrants come from all over the globe: from China, India, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Chile, El Salvador, Algeria, Morocco, and so forth. In fact, more than one third of the Canadian population comes from countries other than Great Britain or France.

Immigrants come here and after three years' residence, they can apply for Canadian citizenship. Please note they did not apply for British or any other citizenship. Some of them are confused and do not understand to whom they are swearing allegiance. In fact, according to the present wording of the oath, they swear allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To some people, swearing this oath of allegiance does not mean much, while others do so reluctantly. I myself swore allegiance to the Queen in 1978, when I became a Canadian citizen, and in 1993 before taking up my duties as a member of Parliament. I felt it was somewhat anachronistic to have to swear allegiance to a foreign queen.

According to the hon. member, Bill C-223 is entirely in line with the Canadianization of institutions, symbols and traditions that has been going on since the end of the Second World War. It is interesting to note that formerly, governors general were always British subjects. The Privy Council in London was the court of last resort. It has since been replaced by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Canadian citizenship has been in existence only since 1940. Before that time, Canadians were British subjects. The flag was adopted in 1964, followed by a Canadian national anthem.

According to public opinion polls, a significant percentage of Canadians believe it is time Canada broke its ties with the monarchy. This percentage is even higher in Quebec.

In 1994, acting on a specific request from the ministers, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, of which I am vice-chairman, started an analysis of the Citizenship Act, one of the main points of which is the oath of allegiance.

A number of witnesses analyzed the role of the monarchy, since the oath refers to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Some people wanted the oath to remain as is, since it reflects the constitutional nature of Canada, whose head of state is the Queen. Many witnesses, however, came out in favour of eliminating all references to the monarchy. They wanted the oath to give pride of place to Canada as a country. This would better reflect the diversity that is so typical of our society.

The committee decided to recommend a new version of the oath which would continue to refer to the monarchy while adding Canada. In a minority report, the Bloc Quebecois came out against this version.

Although I agree with eliminating any references to the Queen and to the monarchy in general, I cannot support the text proposed by the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. This version favours swearing allegiance to the Constitution of Canada, which Quebec never ratified. We should recall that Quebec had certain demands and that despite its refusal to ratify the process, Canada decided in 1981 to patriate the Constitution. The federal government ignored the historic rights of the only French-speaking society in Canada.

In 1994, Australia, another Commonwealth country, removed all references to the queen in its oath of allegiance, which it calls "Pledge of Commitment".

The former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration had promised to table in the fall of 1994 a bill to amend the Citizenship Act, a promise the government has so far failed to keep. In 1995, the Department of Immigration had a meeting in Vancouver with ten authors and five public servants to revise and draft a new oath, which reads as follows:

"I am a citizen of Canada and I make this commitment to uphold all our laws and freedoms, to respect our people in their diversity, to work for our common well-being and to safeguard and honour this ancient northern land".

The wording is not the inspiration of the century, despite the $30,000 cost to taxpayers.

Shortly after her appointment in January, the new minister declared that the country needed a new oath of allegiance.

I have noted that the debate on the oath of citizenship and the monarchy is often very heated in English Canada, while it is not important in Quebec. This is another difference between Quebec and Canada. The Quebec National Assembly has just passed a motion calling essentially for the abolishment of the position of lieutenant-governor, as it is primarily symbolic and a hold over from a colonial past.

For these reasons and especially because Quebec was left out of the Constitution, I must vote against Bill C-223.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to Bill C-223 proposed by the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. This bill aims to amend the Citizenship Act with respect to the oath of allegiance.

Currently, new citizens of Canada are obliged to recite an oath that is for all intents and purposes claimed by many to be lacking in contemporary elements. They say that the current oath does not truly represent present day views of the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. As new eras come an go we can expect that certain beliefs, behaviours and traditions will be changed in some way. This is simply the nature of history as we know it.

Before us today is an opportunity to make a change in the way in which new citizens first experience our country. The new oath would ask new citizens to pledge allegiance to Canada and the Constitution of Canada, faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil their duties as Canadian citizens.

For those who choose to become Canadians, taking the oath before a citizenship judge is the final step in becoming a Canadian citizen. With citizenship comes numerous responsibilities for helping to build a stronger, more vital Canada. These responsibilities could be better highlighted by emphasizing a pledge of allegiance specifically to Canada and the Canadian Constitution and the laws of the land.

The time is right for such an amendment. Changing the oath to make it more contemporary does not imply that other existing ties and traditions as described in our Constitution would be eliminated. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that our Constitution explicitly outlines the nature of Canada's relationship with certain symbols and traditions. These symbols, traditions and institutions cannot in any way, shape or form be altered through an amendment to the present oath of citizenship.

It is much more important in these times of strained national unity to promote Canada to our new citizens. What better mechanism could we utilize than the citizenship ceremony and the oath of citizenship?

We should really take this opportunity to let new Canadians know that Canadians are not afraid to stand strong and proud for their country. We should let them know that we are not afraid to pledge allegiance directly to Canada.

Let us examine more carefully the significance of an oath of allegiance to one's country. To first generation Canadians as well as to families that have been here for many generations an oath may be simply a verbal expression of one's love of one's country. Others say it is simply a necessary condition of citizenship.

It is more than a verbal expression. I see it as a declaration of faith, a declaration of trust in all that my country has done, all that my country is doing and all that my country will do to improve and enhance my life, the lives of my family members and the lives of all Canadians.

To the new Canadian it is a declaration of acceptance, accepting the laws, the rules and regulations of a highly organized and developed society. It is a declaration of belief and trust in Canada's people, its governments, its institutions, its laws and all that the new Canadian perceives about Canada at that very special moment when the oath of allegiance is stated.

This is done on a voluntary basis. Out of the dozens of choices available, the new Canadian has chosen Canada. The new Canadian has faith.

From a very personal viewpoint, as I declare my allegiance to Canada and all that it represents, I feel that I am making a serious obligation to commit myself to doing whatever I am capable of doing to reciprocate for what my country has done for me directly or indirectly. It is a personal relationship with my country, a sacred relationship that stirs the emotions. I too have faith.

Speaking of emotions, the citizens of this country recently experienced services of remembrance for all those who sacrificed so much during times of international strife. We emotionally paid special tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Do we believe for a moment that Canadians who came from Saskatchewan lost their lives only to protect the citizens of Saskatchewan? Of course not. Do we believe that the Canadians from Ontario lost their lives only in the defence of the freedoms the citizens of Ontario enjoy? Of course not. Do we believe that the young Canadians from Quebec died so that only future generations in Quebec could enjoy the highest standard and quality of life in the world? Certainly not.

All those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice did so with one objective in mind: to defend and preserve the democratic way of life in Canada. They too had faith. They had faith that future generations would carry the torch of freedom for all Canadians and this would be revealed through a declaration of allegiance to Canada.

In my riding of Thunder Bay I receive on a daily basis all forms of expressions of love for this great and wonderful country of ours. Not only do the people express it, they also demonstrate it through their behaviour and their relationships with each other.

My riding is composed of many ethnic communities and they most vehemently support the Canadian way of life. They are more than accommodating, more than tolerant of each other. They learn from each other by sharing and demonstrating their cultural differences. They certainly are dismayed by any anti-Canada act performed by individuals, by special single issue groups and by national or provincial political leaders with overinflated egos who lust for power and control at the expense of all other Canadians.

Many of the citizens of Thunder Bay and Atikokan are first generation Canadians who came to Canada because they, like the rest of the world, saw Canada as a symbol of hope. Canada has reached a stage in its evolution that no other country can match. It is a sophisticated civilized society in which societal differences can survive in harmony.

The path we follow as we attempt to further enhance our Canadian way of life has many obstacles, but these can be overcome in a civilized and rational manner. We must have a beacon to guide us. I firmly believe, as do the vast majority of Canadians, that the beacon is an oath of allegiance to Canada and all that it implies.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to Bill C-223 put forward by the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. His bill calls for amending the oath of Canadian citizenship.

The current oath reads as follows: "I swear 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". Bill C-223 would replace that oath with the following: "I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Canada and the Constitution of Canada and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen".

The bill replaces the oath of allegiance to the monarchy with an oath of allegiance to Canada and the Canadian Constitution. Although this bill only changes a handful of words, it is actually a very significant change in the very essence of what it means to be a Canadian.

I will review what it means to be a Canadian citizen. As every Canadian schoolchild knows, Canada became a country on July 1, 1867. Many Canadians may be surprised to learn that while Canada has existed for over 129 years, Canadians have existed for less than 50 years. That is right. There was no such thing in law as a Canadian citizen until January 1, 1947. We were considered to be British subjects residing in Canada. When travelling abroad we had to use British passports. The first Canadian citizenship act did not exist until 1946 when It was presented in the House. It received royal assent in July 1946 and came into effect January 1, 1947. Given this history it is not surprising that many Canadians are at a loss to explain what it means to be a Canadian citizen.

I recall speaking to an immigrant from Pakistan who was proud to recently become a Canadian citizen. However, he commented that when he took the oath of allegiance it was an oath very similar to the one in the country he had left and had very little to do with his commitment to his new country.

I believe that most Canadians would accept the idea of amending the oath of Canadian citizenship to include an oath of allegiance to Canada. The controversy is should that oath be allegiance to Canada in addition to the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty or should the oath of allegiance to Canada replace the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty?

The hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce has chosen the second option. He has replaced reference to Her Majesty with an oath of allegiance to Canada and the Canadian Constitution. However, he does state that it is understood that Her Majesty is an integral part of the Constitution of Canada. I wonder if most Canadians would accept that. Do most Canadian accept that Her Majesty is an integral part of the Constitution of Canada? I think not.

The member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was a member of the House in the early 1980s when the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution was drafted and as a member for Quebec is is painfully aware that the Government of Quebec never consented to the repatriation of the Constitution, as the members of the Bloc Quebecois point out on a regular basis in the House.

Would an oath to the Constitution of Canada mean any more to the average Canadian than the current oath to Her Majesty? After all, there are 47 different constitutional acts and documents that relate to Canada. Of these 47 acts and documents, 30 are mentioned in the schedule of the Constitution Act, 1982. I doubt that very few of us in the House know which 30 constitutional acts and docu-

ments appear in the schedule of the Constitution, never mind the average Canadian.

To the average Canadian the Constitution of Canada and the subsequent Meech Lake accord of 1987 and the Charlottetown accord of 1992 were all deals made by a few men in back rooms. As the 1992 referendum on the Charlottetown accord demonstrated, when the people have a say on constitutional change, it is not necessarily the same one that the politicians have.

In my riding the vote against the Charlottetown accord was 71 per cent. That was not to say that people were happy with the current Constitution, but rather that they were unhappy with the entire process of constitutional amendments.

The Constitution of Canada does not belong only to members of this Parliament and the provincial legislatures. It should belong to all the people of Canada. If that were to happen, if we could develop a Constitution adopted by the majority of Canadian citizens, then the oath of Canadian citizenship as proposed by the hon. member from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce would have true meaning.

For us in the House to change the oath of Canadian citizenship without consulting with Canadian citizens would be wrong. And I do not just mean having a few hand picked advocacy groups appearing before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. I mean letting all Canadians have a say. In true Reform Party tradition I did that earlier this year.

In a householder survey that was sent out in May, I asked the following two questions: (1) should the oath of Canadian citizenship be amended to introduce an allegiance to Canada in addition to allegiance to the Queen? or; (2) should the oath of Canadian citizenship be amended to introduce an allegiance to Canada replacing the allegiance to the Queen?

I asked my constituents that if they agreed that the oath of Canadian citizenship should be amended, which one of these two options would be preferable? Almost 95.5 per cent of the 3,209 constituents who responded to my survey said the oath should be changed. Of that total, 40.6 per cent said there should be an allegiance to Canada in addition to the allegiance to Her Majesty. But 54.8 per cent of respondents agreed that an allegiance to Canada should replace the allegiance to Her Majesty.

I do not know if the majority of my constituents would agree with the wording of Bill C-223. However, it is clear that the majority of my constituents agree with the sentiment of the bill.

Canadians have a lot to be proud of about our country and our past, but the fact that Canada existed as a country for almost 80 years before Canadians existed as a people is not something to be proud of.

Canada has reached the stage of maturity as a nation that we must now have a new oath of allegiance to our own country. However, whatever that allegiance is, it should not be left only to the 295 members of the House and those patronage appointees of the other place to decide. We need to let all Canadians participate in determining what Canadian citizenship really means. We have to trust the common sense of the common people.

I congratulate the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce for putting this important bill before us. It is a shame that it was not made a votable item. It reflects poorly upon this House that it was not. Sooner or later, and I hope it is sooner, there should be and will be an oath of Canadian citizenship in which people actually pledge their allegiance to this great country of ours.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

Liberal

Warren Allmand Notre-Dame-De-Grâce, QC

Madam Speaker, I understand that if there are no other speakers, as mover of the motion I may close the debate.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

Yes, you may close the debate. The floor is yours.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

Liberal

Warren Allmand Notre-Dame-De-Grâce, QC

Madam Speaker, I simply want to respond to some of the speeches that were made in the House. They were very good speeches and very positive.

As I said in my opening remarks, I believe the oath must be changed to put an emphasis on Canada. I want to assure my colleagues from British Columbia and from Thunder Bay that I am not wed to the exact formula that is in my bill.

Unfortunately this is not a votable bill, but I believe the debate was important to give the minister, who is thinking about these things, a chance to hear the views of the different parties.

It seems there is strong support for changing the oath to put an emphasis on Canada. I have proposed that we pledge allegiance to Canada and to the Constitution of Canada.

I realize that the Constitution of Canada is not always an easy concept to grasp. In constitutional law we talk about the Constitution of Canada as including all constitutional documents. As my hon. friend from British Columbia pointed out, there are 30, 40 or 50 statutes which make up the Constitution, although the two principal documents are the Constitution Act, 1867, formerly known as the British North American Act of 1867, and the Constitution Act, 1981, the act that repatriated the Constitution.

This is not a votable item. However, it appears that there is consensus among the various parties of the House that a change is needed. Even my friend from the Bloc Quebecois admits that. He was on the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He reported to the House that in the hearings before that committee there was a consensus for changing the oath, although he does not like the present formulation. He and I have different views on this.

He would not want to pledge allegiance to Canada as a member of the Bloc Quebecois.

That is one of the reasons I am putting forward an oath of allegiance. I do not want any ambiguity for our new citizens to be in the oath. I do not want them to be unclear about what they are doing. I want them to be absolutely clear on what they are doing. I want people who come here and become citizens to know what they are pledging allegiance to. I do not want them to think on the one hand they are pledging allegiance to a Queen who is principally British and represents the United Kingdom, although as I said there is a legal fiction that she is the Queen of Canada, and then on the other hand to be pledging allegiance to Canada.

I think the time has come when we can clarify the oath, make it absolutely clear that when you pledge allegiance to Canada as a new citizen you are pledging allegiance to this country and to nothing else.

I understand the views of the Bloc Quebecois members. They have been elected to support a movement to separate Quebec from Canada and to break up the country and they do not want to pledge allegiance to Canada. As a matter of fact, when we sing "O Canada" in the House once a week they are significantly absent because they do not want to sing that anthem and they do not want to give allegiance to our flag either.

It is for those very reasons that I want people to pledge allegiance to Canada. I think our unity is under attack. Our unity is being threatened. I want to make clear to new citizens that when they come here and become citizens of Canada and pledge allegiance I want that pledge to be meaningful. I want it to be significant. I want to make sure that their loyalty is with Canada and not with any other country, that their loyalty is to the traditions, to the way of doing things in this country.

I thought the approach of the member for Thunder Bay was emotional. Mine was rather legalistic I thought he made a very good speech supporting the bill.

In closing the debate, I hope the minister and the government take notice of this debate and bring in soon a government bill which will give us a new oath of allegiance which will emphasize allegiance and loyalty to Canada.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

6:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

There being no further members rising for debate and the motion not being designated as a votable item, the time provided for consideration of private members' business has now expired and the order is dropped from the Order Paper.

Do we have unanimous consent to proceed with deliberation on the motion to adjourn?

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

6:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.