Not their Queen: No citizenship for trio who refuse to swear oath

Mike McAteer (Left), Simone Topey and Dror Bar-Natan. (ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI Agency)

Mike McAteer (Left), Simone Topey and Dror Bar-Natan. (ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI Agency)

Michele Mandel, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

TORONTO — Between the three of them, they have been in this country now for 97 years. But they are not Canadian citizens because they refuse to pledge allegiance to the Queen.

They're happy to swear an oath of loyalty to this country, but not to an unelected family across the pond with a history, they say, of spawning inequality, class division and colonial slavery.

"I call myself a democrat and an egalitarian," said Irish-born Mike McAteer, 80, a former journalist who came to Canada in 1964. "The whole concept of the British monarchy is discriminatory."

For math professor Dror Bar-Natan, 48, the oath to the Queen is "repulsive" and has prevented him from becoming a citizen since coming here from Israel 12 years ago.

"It is a symbol that we aren't all equal and that some of us have to bow to others for reasons of ancestry alone," he said in his factum filed with the court.

Social justice organizer Simone Topey, 47, came from Jamaica 35 years ago but said her religion as a Rastafarian prevents her from swearing an oath to a Queen who those of her faith believe is the head of Babylon.

Together, the three permanent residents were back in court Tuesday, this time at the Ontario Court of Appeal, where they sought to convince the panel that having to swear true allegiance to "Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors" is unconstitutional because it violates their freedom of conscience and religious rights.


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