The Canadian Federal Court has ruled that that country’s armed forces are free to humiliate republican soldiers by forcing them to show deference to the Windsor family. Soldiers who do not drink a toast to the British hereditary head of state or sing "God Save the Queen" may face a seven year sentence for disloyalty.
Justice Robert Barnes has upheld a ruling by defence forces chief of staff Rick Hillier that Captain Mac Giolla Chainnigh could not be exempted from showing loyalty to a feudal foreign head of state. The Justice said that refusing to recognise queen Windsor was an act of "profound disrespect and rudeness". He added that there could be no change to this unless Canada ended its constitutional links to the British monarchy.
The Canadian National Defence Acts states that " Every person who uses traitorous or disloyal words regarding Her Majesty is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or to less punishment."
Captain Mac Giolla Chainnigh has argued that the requirement that military personnel express loyalty to the British monarch is politically offensive, a denial of freedom of conscience and not in keeping with Canadian principles of democracy and equality.
He would like to lodge an appeal against the ruling but cannot afford to do so.
A class action suit on behalf of eighteen people barred from holding office, entering the legal profession or earning citizenship because they refused oaths of loyalty to the Windsors is proceeding.