Controversy is already stirring in Victoria after the city’s new mayor declined to swear allegiance to the Queen during her inauguration on Thursday.
Mayor Lisa Helps wasn’t the only one to say no to the oath with three members of council, Marianne Alto, Ben Isitt and Geremy Loveday, following her actions.
The remaining members, Chris Coleman, Margaret Lucas, Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Geoff Young chose to make the pledge. The remaining member of council, Pam Madoff had wanted to take the pledge but it was left out of her inauguration by accident.
Today I affirmed an oath to serve my community with integrity. This is what today should be about. Speech: http://t.co/Wv0FcpOzkM— Lisa Helps (@lisahelps) December 5, 2014
Her move has sparked a lot of outrage on social media.
“I agree with everyone else… absolutely disgraceful and disrespectful of a mayor NOT to respect the Queen. She should step down and move…” writes Jason Armstrong-Benson on the City of Victoria’s Facebook page.
“Too bad you think you’re above swearing allegiance to our Queen. So shameful and disrespectful,” comments Steve Young.
There was plenty of support for Helps though.
“Congratulations to the new Mayor!!! Stay strong in what your beliefs are!” writes Elissa Joy Shames.
So glad and so proud to have a mayor who respects Indigenous people over a colonial monarch. 👍 @lisahelps— Alexah Konnelly (@alexahdk) December 5, 2014
@lisahelps I hope that's the only controversial thing in your term, I'm sure you had more than 88 monarchists vote for you (me included)— martin_fff (@martin_fff) December 5, 2014
There is no law in place that requires mayor or council to swear an oath of allegiance but they are required to swear the oath of office.