Canada drops plans for politically correct anthem

Canada drops plans for politically correct anthem

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Don’t mess with a century-old tradition even if it is sexist, Canadians told the Conservative government this week, forcing Ottawa to scrap plans to make the country’s national anthem gender-neutral.

The government tucked the idea into a major policy speech on Tuesday and by Friday the public outcry was so strong Prime Minister Stephen Harper backtracked.

“We offered to hear from Canadians on this issue and they have already spoken loud and clear,” said Dimitri Soudas, Harper’s spokesman.

“They overwhelmingly do not want to open the issue. The government will not proceed any further to change our national anthem,” he said.

For nearly 100 years, the anthem has included the line, “True patriot love in all thy sons’ command.”

Harper wanted to start a public discussion on whether to change the wording in a way that would not exclude the nation’s daughters. He took the initiative on the advice of a female senator, according to National Post columnist Don Martin.

The opposition Liberals called it a gimmick proving the Conservatives were not serious about women’s rights.

Complaints from irked citizens poured in to radio and television shows, invoking the sanctity of national symbols and tradition. Many said the timing was particularly unfortunate, coming the week the Vancouver Winter Olympics ended.

Canadians took home a record 14 gold medals during the Games, and the country heard the anthem repeatedly during flag-raising ceremonies for the winners.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Frank McGurty)

Copyright © 2010 Reuters Limited.

I fully expect someone to go before a Human Rights Commission and take the federal government to task on the grounds that the Canadian National Anthem is discriminatory to women. All their expenses will be paid for as a complainant, and eventually this could wind up before the Supreme Court of Canada, as some think it violates our Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Constitution Act of 1982)

How very recent is this Charter brought in by that ace secular humanist Pierre Elliot Trudeau when he was Prime Minister.

The complaint would be a colossal waste of time and money - but then, that has been the Canadian way of doing things in the recent past. Secular MPs and secular judges rule the way they want to. Never mind that the majority of people think otherwise. That doesn’t matter here.

I still can’t figure out where Harper pulled this one from. Like it’s from left field and no one besides (I presume) radical feminists even talks about this.

This is the right decision to drop it.

I for one am having a sigh of relief. Because the next line to go after that chink in the chain is gone is, ‘God keep our land, glorious and free’.


Exactly. If you look around online at the comments and blogs, people were already saying it.

How would you have Judges determine their rulings? Should they rule how you want them to?

On another note, if you pay close attention to Canadian politics…

The political parties very much operate upon the party principal, in that individual MP’s, the absolute vast majority of the time, cast their votes based upon the will of the Party and not based upon their own wishes.

In fact, so rare is it that MP’s vote against the party, that when they do, it makes the news…where upon the MP’s is regulated to the back benches or if already a back bencher, runs the risk of being kicked out of the party.

It would have been such a waste of time, and money… and completely pointless. We all know what the word “sons” means. I like my national anthem just the way it is.

I’m glad that Canadians have spoken… :thumbsup:

the only person I know who supports this is my sister’s teacher… she felt very strongly about it and they had a 15 minute discussion in class… all the students opposed her.

O Canada, our home and native land. True patriot love, in all thy sons command…

I for one am having a sigh of relief. Because the next line to go after that chink in the chain is gone is, ‘God keep our land, glorious and free’.

When I first heard they wanted to change the anthem, I thought that was the line they were thinking of changing.

Australias national anthem was "politically corrected" years ago. The first line: "Australias sons, let us rejoice for we are young and free." was
butchered to: “Australians all, let us rejoice…”

The Star Spangled Banner will have to be overhauled, and the Marseillaise will have to be scrapped.

Eventually, they`ll probably have everybody singing The Internationale…or “The Gay Pride March”.

I don’t know; maybe it’s just me, but I think Harper personally has problems connecting with people on an emotional level or understanding what can rile them up. I remember meeting him at some junket in T.O. with others and he kind of gives you this limp handshake, doesn’t really want to look into your eyes, but gives a matter-of-fact “Hi, how are you?” robotic standard. Kind of strange. Some politicians have that extra charm and people-touch unfortunately required in today’s day and age to be electable but he has managed inspite of the lack of this so far. The anthem decision really came out of nowhere. Harper guessing the public mood on his own?

While I was unhappy with the idea of changing the Anthem, I don’t think this came out of nowhere. I’ve been hearing complaints about that line for at least a decade. I’ve also heard complaints about the line “our home and native land” since it doesn’t represent immigrants.

My thoughts turned to the French version and wondered when they’d start wanting to change that one because the line “God keep our land” could be relevant to many different denominations or religions but the lines referring to the Cross and the Faith in the French version refer strictly to Christianity.

Hey all,

I’m no fan of PM Harper’s, but I think he is a clever and shrewd politician. I’m beginning to think that they contrived this whole nonsense in order for this outcome. Bare with me a sec. They set up this strawman about the anthem, to precisely beat the athiests to the punch if the ‘God keep our land’ comes up again. They win on ‘All thy son’s command’ thus making O Canada sacrosanct. Brilliant really. PM Steven Harper is an evangelical protestant. A firm believer, I’m sure he’s compelled within his conscious to do something about abortion here in Canada, but it would be political suicide. He already has started dropping funds to artgroups and cultural events, thus the Gay Pride doesn’t receive federal monies anymore. Oh boy, are those LGBT people upset. And for so few people, for such a meagar event, did they ever make a lot of noise, and have the media think it is a throng of angry citizens. It all smacks of subterfuge, but I think that’s how politics has to work (like a master 3 card monty game).


Sorry, I don’t think he’s smart enough for that type of strategic planning.

I should’ve qualified my posting by ending it with, “Although I could be wrong about all this.” :shrug: lol



Harpers a gifted pianist and it’s well known that he’s very cerebral. Which may very well explain his emotional distance from the average voter.

Trust me, I’m no Harper fan, but please, give credit where credit is due.

Ever noticed how us Canadians often don’t give the same reverence to the office of Prime Minister as the Americans do of their president. We often call PM Harper, just Harper or Cretien or Trudeau, etc and rarely acknowlege them by title of office. hmmm… good discussion though this. And I still think something insideous is at work here. A smoke screen of sorts. I mean come on, anthem? There’s the Afghan issue (torture of the prisoners), the budget, native claims, geeze-o it goes on and on… and this fly in the ointment was suppose to distract us after riding the high of euphoria after a successful Olympics (relatively, ask Nodar Kumaritashvili’s – luger that crashed and died – parents if it was a success).


I actually like it better. I do like that Harper seems to be a lot more down to earth lately. He was just in a regular sweater (and jeans I presume) instead of the full suit during the hockey game. Same thing for his interview with Brian Williams. It portrays a lot more normalcy in politics. Chrétien seemed to be a very every-man too.

Besides, we don’t need all the pomp for the PM because we’ve already got the Queen :stuck_out_tongue:

empacae, are you kidding? :slight_smile: Go to the Politics Forum on C.A.F. and see what some American posters have called the current President of the U.S.A. I mean I think we’re actually pretty respectful. :wink:

p.s. if any Yanks are reading this, I apologize in advance. Please forgive me. Sorry…:smiley:

That kind of thing has already happened in much of our education system. For example, campers will now sing Johnny Appleseed with the words “the earth is good to me…”, replacing the traditional “God is good to me” in the original.

It is all about Gaia now actually in the new state religion.

The words of the Canadian anthem had already been amended once under Trudeau to take some of the more repetitive lines.

lol… I haven’t sung that since scouts. Now let’s go hug a tree… ha ha ha

No seriously, that’s sad and scary :confused:

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