As a Canadian and British citizen, I think democracy works best when it flows from the bottom up, firmly rooted in a mandate from the people with unwavering respect for human rights. That is why I declined to take a voluntary Oath of Allegiance to the British monarch and her unborn successors when I was first elected to public office in 2011 and when I was sworn in for a second term as a City Councillor yesterday.
As a historian, I know that imperialism by Britain and other European states has caused tremendous suffering and dislocation for indigenous people, here on Vancouver Island and around the world, including the families of many friends. The impacts of the ongoing processes of imperialism and colonization continue to hold back our communities. This is not an indictment of Elizabeth II as an individual, but of the system her family currently symbolizes.
I therefore believe it is appropriate for municipal officials to focus on the mandatory Oath of Office required under provincial law, pledging to work for the betterment of our community and in accordance with the law and the highest standards of integrity. Thank you Mayor Lisa Helps and fellow Councillors Marianne Alto and Jeremy Loveday for affirming that our highest loyalty is to the people we are elected to serve.