Because of a law passed in the year of 1829. Providing that only clergymen who were British subjects may perform marriage ceremonies in the Province of Quebec, was never amended, thousands of people in this province who were married in good faith before clergymen, are not legally wedded.
Remedial legislation, it is understood will be put through the Legislature this session to deal with the matter. In 1829 Quebec was known as Lower Canada and was governed or the Constitutional Act of 1791. When Confederation came in no change was made in the statute regarding marriages, Since that time nobody had over bothered about the matter, until a few days ago when matters ware brought to a head by a Unitarian clergyman in Montreal being refused a register in 1922 because he “was not a British subject”.
Quebec was immediately communicated with and the situation is now to be dealt with by the Government. The official who refused the Unitarian clergyman said that they did – so on instruction from Charles Lanctot registrating assistant attorney general of the province was obliged to interpret the law from a legal stand point. The law applies to Protestants as well as Roman Catholics.