Debate of national anthem lyrics is ‘moot’

Making the lyrics more inclusive does not reject tradition, but respects it

One of the more curious debates to flare up on our social media pages recently has been the discussion over changes to the lyrics in Canada’s national anthem.

That some are so passionate about preserving the existing lyrics is, perhaps, inspiring.

But it’s also a little misguided.

At issue is whether or not the words, “in all thy sons command” should be changed to, “in all of us command.”

The debate is a little moot. The House of Commons has already approved the change, and sent the legislation to the Senate for approval.

However, Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl is hoping the fight’s not over yet. He says there’s a chance the Senate might refer the issue back to the Commons for reconsideration. And when that happens, he and the results from his recent constituency association poll will be ready.

The questionnaire was mailed out to homes months ago. It asked residents, “Do you think the lyrics of our Canadian national anthem should be changed?”

Strahl says he was bothered by the lack of consultation. Something as important and emblematic as the national anthem should not be altered without national consent.

Others see it as yet another surrender to political correctness – a further emasculation of our national heritage.

Not quite.

In fact, the change better reflects the original version (at least the English translation from the original French). That version was changed in 1914 during a moment of patriotic fervour as Canada was sending its sons across the Atlantic to fight in The Great War.

The fact that the nation’s daughters were also serving overseas did not seem to bother anyone at a time when women were still denied the vote.

But times have changed. It’s simply not acceptable to exclude half the population in a song that is meant to embrace us all.

The fix is simple. And despite what some argue, it’s one that respects tradition, rather than rejects it.

~ Greg Knill, Chilliwack Progress

Just Posted

Recycling subsidy means tax break for RDCK residents

Province steps in to fund newsprint recycling

Nelson searches for answers to fentanyl crisis

A packed event Wednesday featured seven speakers and plenty of questions

Police ask city for $100K budget increase

The extra money is needed to cover salary costs

Nelson firefighter wage negotiations in year six

Firefighting is an essential service, so strikes are illegal

EcoSociety asks city to become 100 per cent renewable

The plan would have Nelson ditch fossil fuels by 2050

Nelson homes found without working smoke alarms

Fire chief Len MacCharles says his members found 21 homes in need of alarms

COLUMN: Let’s keep your money circulating in the region

Chamber of Commerce executive director Tom Thomson on buying locally

Doug Bothamley Cash Spiel returns this weekend

The annual tournament runs Friday to Sunday at the Nelson Curling Centre

COLUMN: Taking another look at Kelowna

Columnist Donna Macdonald finds many things to love about the city Nelsonites love to hate

Earthquake gently rocks Nelson to sleep

Did you feel the earthquake? (Probably not)

RDCK holds open house on proposed boat launch

RDCK hosted an open house at Blewett Elementary to discuss plans for a boat launch at Taghum Beach

LVR Bombers volleyball team off to provincials

The senior girls’ squad secured a spot with a win over Trail last week

Most Read