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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)
Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Last winter there were nine Extreme Weather Response shelters in all of Surrey and White Rock. So far, during this pandemic, there are only five lined up for the coming winter

File photo
Surrey Mounties seeking dash-cam footage of Whalley road rage fight

Two men are alleged to have stabbed one another

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

Highway 99 traffic flows under 24 Avenue in South Surrey Monday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
A cyclist crosses above Highway 99 on 24 Avenue Monday afternoon, Oct. 19. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Liberals promise new freeway interchanges for South Surrey

NDP candidate taking pre-election announcement ‘with heavy grain of salt’

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Fleetwood teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read