It’s time to update the oath of office taken by municipal council members throughout Ontario, says Guelph city council.
Through a unanimously approved motion on Tuesday, council’s committee of the whole is calling on the provincial government to change the pledge elected officials must make at the start of each term.
Any decisions made by the committee must be formally approved during a council meeting before any action can be taken. In this case, consideration is expected to happen on June 27.
The urged change would see wording added regarding recognition of Indigenous and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples in the constitution.
The motion, brought forward by Coun. Leanne Caron, is modelled after a similar motion approved by the municipal council in Trent Lakes, near Peterborough.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Caron told her council colleagues of discussing the need for this change more than two decades ago, and her renewed “level of discomfort” because it wasn’t included when taking her fifth oath of office last fall.
The recommended wording of the oath is:
“I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles III and I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada including the Constitution, which recognizes and affirms the Indigenous and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.”
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada recommended the federal government change the oath of citizenship to recognize treaties with Indigenous peoples – something which happened in 2021.