In last week’s online poll, we asked "Do you think the lyrics need to be changed in our national anthem?" A whopping 93 per cent said no.
I agree with the majority.
"True patriot love in all thy sons command." According to Restore Our Anthem, a group that includes writer Margaret Atwood, former Prime Minister Kim Campbell and Sally Goddard, whose daughter Nichola Goddard was the first female Canadian soldier killed in combat, these lyrics are exclusionary of women.
The debate comes down to two words. Most changes to National Anthems have occurred due to political changes in a country. For example, Germany changed their anthem after World War II, Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Russia after the fall of Communism and South Africa at the end of Apartheid.
Such is not the case in Canada. There has been no political shake up. Simply put, they just don't like it. Restore Our Anthem see the lyrics as gender inequality and is bent on making women equally known in an anthem played predominantly at hockey games and other events of prestige.
It's a part of our heritage. "Thy sons" is not exclusionary of women or their right to be seen and heard in our nation.
This isn't the first time this change has been proposed. In 2002, retired senator Vivienne Poy introduced a bill to try to change the lyric, and in 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper asked Parliament to look at whether or not to make the change. But Harper abandoned the proposal just days later, after facing backlash from the Conservative Party.
I certainly don't feel slighted by my country for the fact that I wasn't born a "son".
Women have every right to earn a living, go as far as they wish in their careers, whether it's the CEO of a large corporation, prime minister, soldier or that of a housewife. Two words are not going to give women more power, nor has it taken any away.
Swapping two words in the 100-year-old anthem won't change anything except the words. In 1970, before the song became the National Anthem, the phrase "from far and wide" replaced one of the repetitions of the phrase "we stand on guard."
Change the lyrics, and the entire Canadian population will need to re-learn. But my bet is should the lyrics change, everyone will be singing it wrong for the next 100 years.