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RADIA: Sing it the way it is, with pride
Here we go again.
It seems every couple of years, there’s a new movement afoot to change our beloved national anthem.
The latest is from a group, calling itself Restore Our Anthem (www.restoreouranthem.ca), which wants to make “O Canada” gender-neutral.
Restore Our Anthem produced a website and YouTube video urging Canadians to write to their MPs asking them to change the phrase “in all thy sons command” to “all of us command.”
It even has some high-profile women who have loaned their support to the cause, including former prime minister Kim Campbell, author Margaret Atwood, Sen. Nancy Ruth, and internationally known singers Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado, and Alanis Morissette.
I am all for gender equality but how would changing a couple of words in “O Canada” help improve the status of women in this country?
Our legislators should instead be focusing their efforts on solving wage disparities between the sexes, on providing better maternity benefits and on finding ways to get more women involved in politics. They really shouldn’t be wasting their time — and our money — musing about the words to a song.
My colleague opposite argues that the proposed change would make the anthem more inclusive.
But where does that stop? Do we take out the word “God” for atheists? Do we amend the “native land” line to please those born outside of Canada? What about eliminating the words “We stand on guard for thee” to appease pacifists.
Besides, this is a battle that the politically correct among us have already fought and lost.
In 2010, in their speech from the throne, the federal Conservatives suggested a gender-neutral anthem but withdrew the idea, citing that Canadians overwhelmingly told them that they like the anthem as is. At the time, a poll suggested that three quarters of Canadians didn’t want to change the lyrics.
“O Canada” is part of our heritage and history. It’s a song that generations of Canadians have sung together to share our national pride.
And here’s an idea: If you don’t like the national anthem as is, then sing it the way you want — nobody is going to fret at that.
Just leave the government to focus on more important issues.