Gerry Flahive is a writer and producer in Toronto.
Given that it is in the national interest to compel new citizens of Canada, and those who became Canadian by being born in the right place at the right time, to more thoroughly and exhaustively affirm their deep affection/convenience with regard to their citizenship, it shall be compulsory for all Canadians to swear an oath of loyalty to this great nation, and to do so under the public’s gaze, ’neath the flag, and in the eyes of God, or via a drop-down menu.
Henceforth, at a Canada Post office, whilst ye are there anyway, every person shall speak, lip-sync or affix sufficient postage to the following:
I, [DO NOT REFER TO YOURSELF IN THE THIRD PERSON], do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, including, if necessary, Harry.
As a Canadian, I feel it necessary to elaborate upon this.
I will publicly express my loyalty to the Queen and her many, many relatives when they visit Canada, as they do so very, very often. I understand that while a wave in their direction will suffice, kneeling in their presence, or offering them prize livestock, would be better.
If I am given the honour of meeting Her Majesty, I shall not ask her how it feels to “have your face on a coin.” In any event, she will pretend that she didn’t hear me ask that.
I affirm my weighty commitment to defend Canada against all aggressors, whether they come by land, by sea, by air or by Hotmail.
When questioned, I will answer. When answered, I will nod. When perturbed, I will keep it to myself.
When the going gets tough, I will get going, as far as that sort of thing goes.
When crossing provincial borders, I will look both ways.
I will participate to the best of my ability in the civic life of my community, although shouting from the back of a school gymnasium at a public meeting about that mysterious local smell doesn’t count.
I do sincerely promise and swear to ease up on the gas pedal, what with the environment and whatnot.
If selected to serve on a jury, I will not make up a pathetic excuse to get out of it. Whilst jurying, I will not get all Henry Fonda on the other jurors, but use my best judgment and habeas corpus et cetera.
I will fulfill my responsibility as a citizen to vote in every election for which I am eligible, and to answer my phone even if I don’t recognize the number on call display.
When abroad, I shan’t embarrass Canada, neither by my words, nor by my swimwear.
If appointed to the Senate, I will think about it and get back to you.
I will be loyal to the mountains. I pledge fealty to the meadows. I acknowledge responsibility for the ducks and ducklings that trod upon those meadows, but not necessarily the Canada geese, which are a pain in the ass.
I will pay my taxes. On time. Or at least put that on my to-do list.
I acknowledge that abusing Canada’s free health-care system will only result in the ultimate Canadian pain, i.e., shame, for which there is no prescription.
I will not spear, slash, high-stick or aggressively drop my gloves, unless and except as it relates back to the earlier clause about my solemn commitment to defend Canada against all aggressors.
Notwithstanding all that, with great power comes great responsibility, so I’m fine with leaving all the essential powers to the federal government. In other words: Whatever.