The Canadian Citizenship Oath is short and uncomplicated: “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”. As a result of the 94th and final recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the federal government is engaged in overhauling the Citizenship Act to add five words to the oath with the phrase,
“including treaties with Indigenous Peoples” inserted between the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen. That’s a fine addition but it’s the only addition. I still think the federal government should have the guts to also somewhere insert words to the effect that, “I agree (or affirm that I believe) that women and men are equal in every respect and should be treated as such in public and in private”. I’m not naïve enough to think that would prevent male immigrants who believe in such barbaric practices as honour killings for example to take our oath and obtain citizenship but it should make them stop and think before they swear and sign. It should also make them stop and think if tempted to treat women in their families as second class citizens as might have been the case in the country they voluntarily left to come for a new life in Canada. There have been too many documented court cases in which it seems some men have not exactly embraced the idea of gender equality.