The future of Canada’s national anthem is being debated and it has caused a public debate.
The House of Commons debated a motion on Tuesday from Liberal MP Mauril Belanger to make the lyrics of O Canada gender-neutral. In January he introduced his private member’s bill to change the English version of the anthem.
“Change it from ‘all thy sons command’ to ‘all of us command’”
MP’s debated the issue on Tuesday to change the anthem to reflect gender neutrality.
Durham Conservative MP Erin O’Toole says the anthem should be left alone. He says it already serves all Canadians.
“It serves all Canadians. I never, until this debate this week, never had a woman tell me she feels excluded ever including women that I served in uniform with during my time in the military and would proudly salute to that song. It’s our heritage and I don’t think we should change these things. Each generation should not rewrite and recast the symbols of the country.”
Sitting across the room in the House of Commons from O’Toole is Whitby Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes.
“It speaks to the original spirit of the lyrics in 1908 and it’s a more inclusive tone so yes I would support it being changed.”
Durham region residents were asked what they think of possibly changing the anthem.
“I think it is a good idea, I’m not against anything like that”
“I’m pretty sure the original lyrics didn’t include songs and it got changed later so I think it’s better to be all inclusive of Canada”
“I don’t even think if I was a girl I don’t think it would make it any difference, I don’t think we should mess with something that has been around for a long time and means a lot to people”
“I think it should just stay the same it’s the national anthem and that should be it.
Nobody should change it and nobody should want it anything different.”
“I can see why people would want to make things more equal but I’m really not one for making everything gender neutral, changing all kinds of terms”
In 2010 the Conservative Government suggested making it gender neutral but quickly back tracked after public outcry.