Should the lyrics to 'O Canada' be changed?

Dec 19 2017, 4:29 pm

A group of prominent Canadian women have kicked off a campaign to make the English lyrics to ‘O Canada’ more gender-neutral.

The campaign was launched by some of the nation’s must influential women, including former Prime Minister Kim Campbell and author Margaret Atwood.

The group wants the lyrics “in all thy sons command” changed to its original version to “in all of us command.” According to the campaign, the lyrics to Justice Robert Stanley Weir’s 1908 song were changed in 1913 for no documented reason.

Advocates of the proposed restoration are arguing on the basis of the need for a gender-neutral anthem instead of an anthem that suggests only male loyalty is being invoked.

The campaign would require the support of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in order for the changes to be enacted. The group argues the anthem is a ‘living document’ that can be changed over time to reflect the evolving character and values of Canada.

For decades, ‘O Canada’ complemented ‘God Save The Queen’ as Canada’s ‘unofficial’ national anthem. It was not only until 1980 that ‘O Canada’ was formalized by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as the nation’s official anthem.

Should these gender-neutral modifications be made to the lyrics of ‘O Canada’ or should tradition be upheld? Let us know by commenting below.


O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

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