*this article was updated January 4, 2023.
The theory behind requiring you to swear an oath, or to solemnly affirm or declare something to be true, is that it 'binds your conscience'. However many people don't feel bound by an oath.Swearing an oath has legal ramifications. A sworn statement is essentially your official statement you made while understanding the importance of telling the truth. So this is a statement you could be cross-examined on in court or through another legal proceeding.
If your sworn statement is proven to be untrue, you could face criminal charges for knowingly making a false statement. And maybe additional charges depending on what you lied about. Even if you don't end up charged, if you obtained some benefit through the false statement, that benefit could be reversed and other penalties imposed. As such, it is best to avoid swearing to things!
However, there are documents that require you to do so. For example, you may have to swear to a certain time period of residency in Quebec in order to obtain provincial financial benefits.
Many such documents require that your oath be made before a commissioner for oaths. I can administer your oath for almost any document, in Ontario or Quebec. In Ontario I can also provide notary public services and criminal lawyer services. Please call me at 613.203.4874 if you have questions or to book an appointment.
*This article is not legal advice. But if you want legal advice, please call.