The leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ) is asking the new Speaker of the National Assembly to let his members in at the start of the legislative session even if they haven't sworn an oath to King Charles III.
"There is no reason to block the way," said Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, during a news conference Tuesday.
After the general election in October, the three PQ members refused to swear the oath. Québec Solidaire (QS) members refused at first as well, but most have been sworn in since.
St-Pierre Plamondon said he and his two colleagues will try to enter the Blue Room on Thursday with hopes of sitting in on the short eight-day legislative session that lasts until Dec. 9.
He said it will be up to Nathalie Roy, who became the second woman to hold the role of Speaker on Tuesday, to decide if they will be allowed to enter.
Last month, former Speaker François Paradis ruled that all members must swear an oath to the monarch — not just to the people of Quebec — if they wish to perform their duties.
Standing on his convictions Tuesday, the PQ leader described his refusal to take the oath as an "important gesture for us, for our integrity."
"There are plenty of solutions to let elected officials pass and allow them to participate," said St-Pierre Plamondon, suggesting the government enact a retroactive law that allows the option of not swearing an oath.
He said PQ members could be allowed to sit and not vote. He said the intention is not to disrupt proceedings or play politics but to show that the National Assembly is truly sovereign.
"We have put seven, eight solutions on the table, and the truth on which everyone agrees on the legal level is that the National Assembly of Quebec is sovereign in matters of internal management," said St-Pierre Plamondon, who insisted his three-member caucus will not swear the "humiliating" oath.
However, when a reporter asked him what he and his colleagues will do if they are not allowed into the Blue Room on Thursday, he skirted away from the question without giving a clear answer.
"There is no reason for there to be consequences, for democracy to be harmed," he said.
Earlier in the day, Premier François Legault said the government's legal team has made it clear that a new law is needed in order for the oath to the monarch to be optional for newly elected MNAs.
"We are already committed. Next week, we will table a bill to do that," he said. "So in the meantime, they have the choice to come or not."
Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette said the government is aiming to make the oath optional before Christmas.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesperson for QS, said on Tuesday that "when you want to change the game, you've got to play the game. If you want to change an institution, you've got be in that institution to change the rules of that institution."
That's why, he explained, his party's first proposed bill will be to make the oath to the King optional.