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Trending: Is the monarchy still relevant to Canadians?

Last Updated Nov 30, 2015 at 2:49 pm EDT

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau meets Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during a private audience at Buckingham Palace in London, England, on Nov. 25, 2015. PRESS ASSOCIATION VIA AP/Yui Mok.

A 49-year-old math professor from Israel who boldly renounced the Oath to the Queen immediately after becoming a Canadian citizen on Monday has renewed the debate over the monarchy’s relevance, or lack of, in modern Canada.

Dror Bar-Natan recanted the oath after the ceremony in east Toronto, handing the judge a letter that explained his headline-grabbing defiance.

Bar-Natan called the oath “repulsive”, but many defended Canada’s long and strong ties to the monarchy on social media.

On the CityNews Facebook page, Valerie Bowler stressed that the “monarchy is our roots, our history, and our heritage. The backbone the country was built on (and) the mother of the country that we are now so proud of.”

Related stories:

What is Canada’s Oath of Citizenship, and why do we say it?

Man renounces Oath to the Queen right after becoming Canadian citizen

Jodi Rosengren weighed in, saying “of course it’s relevant as it is part of modern Canadian history…”

But not everyone was outraged by the idea of severing ties.

Diego Garcia called it “embarrassing that the country is still represented by them, albeit symbolically. The only true symbols they represent (are) inherited wealth, privilege, and colonialism.”

Last May, a Forum Research poll of 1286 Canadian voters showed that 39 per cent favoured abolishing the monarchy upon the Queen’s death.

When it came to swearing the oath to the queen – opinion was almost evenly split. Forty-four per cent agreed, while 45 per cent disagreed that all citizens should swear the oath.

Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien was reportedly set to scrap the oath to the Queen in the 1990s. But as former citizenship minister Sergio Marchi told the Canadian Press, Chretien changed his mind at the last minute.

On Monday, Bar-Nata’s recanting of the oath was a hot topic on Twitter.  Here’s some of the tweets that touched on the royal debate.