The Canadian parliament wants to make the English-only version of its national anthem gender neutral.
New Democrat MP Christine Moore said, “We are in 2016. The Canadian population will understand why we want to make the change. It is not a big change, and there will not be a big difference in the national anthem, but the difference is significant for women all across Canada.”
“It is the right time to do it. Let us make our national anthem inclusive,” she continued.
Liberal MP Greg Fergus, who also supports the bill, said, “This year, 2016, marks the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. Next year we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. It would be nice if we stopped excluding women from their national anthem.”
Lieutenant Governor of Quebec Théodore Robitaille wrote the original version in French in 1880 for Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. English lyrics came out in 1906.
Canadian poet and judge Robert Stanley Weir wrote the version everyone knows in 1906. The government changed the lyrics from “True patriot love thou dost in us command” to “in all thy sons command” in 1914 in honor of those who left their homeland to fight in World War I. Canada revised the lyrics in 1980 when they “officially adopted it as the national anthem.
Parliament also wants to rush through the bill because Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger has tried to change it before. Doctors recently diagnosed him with ALS and he can no longer speak. The members considers it a legacy project for him.
Conservative members have blasted the liberals for doing this without consulting Canadians:
“It is tragic that this is being done in a fashion where Canadians are being shut out. Their national anthem is being changed. They have been singing it for decades, millions of Canadians. It belongs to them, it is not a plaything of us,” [MP Peter] Van Loan said at committee Thursday, after a prolonged battle with Liberal MP and committee chairwoman Hedy Fry.
“We are telling Canadians, ‘Guess what, you don’t have a say in your national anthem. It belongs to us as politicians… for us to deliver our world view to you and impose it upon you.’”
In The Toronto Sun, Candice Malcolm also points out that women have sung the national anthem with pride:
When properly understood, in the context it was written, our anthem is gender-neutral already. For 102 years, O Canada has united Canadians and is loved by those who sing it.
From a Remembrance Day ceremony honouring the brave men and women who fought and died for Canada, to the Canadian women’s hockey team belting the lyrics after winning the Gold medal on home ice at the Vancouver Olympics, O Canada has helped define our country and brought us all together.
Canadian women have sung it with pride, never feeling excluded, despite the Trudeau Liberal’s latest feminist edict.
It’s an insult to women. We don’t need a bunch of self-righteous politicians in Ottawa to make women feel included. Women are already included.
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