Debate of national anthem lyrics is ‘moot’

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

Alycia Weir (left) and Helena Oosthoek (right) of the Golden Family Center stand outside of the GFC building at their Bell Lets Talk stand last February. They are currently raising funds to help support their drop-in counselling program. (Claire Palmer photo)
Family center fundrasing for free counselling program

It’s important to have accesible care in the community

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Ryan Bavin of Bavin Glassworks in Invermere. Photo: Submitted
Call for entries for Columbia Basin Culture Tour

Deadline for registration for artists and venues is April 15

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Fire ripped through a mobile home on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna on March. 6. (Phil McLachlan - West Kelowna News)
‘My whole life just went up in smoke’; Fire consumes Okanagan mobile home

RCMP confirmed that there were no injuries due to the fire

Most Read