Should O’ Canada drop “thy sons”?

For the third time in recent years, MPs will vote on whether to change words in O Canada

  • Feb. 14, 2016 6:00 p.m.

Kamloops This Week

Should Canada’s national anthem become more gender-neutral?

Kamloops’ MP hasn’t made up her mind.

For the third time in recent years, MPs will vote on whether to change words in O Canada from “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command,” via to a private members’ bill from Ottawa-Vanier Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger.

Belanger introduced the same bill during the last parliamentary session, where last year it was narrowly defeated by the majority Conservative government.

While all opposition Liberal and New Democrat MPs and seven Conservative MPs supported the proposed wording change, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP Cathy McLeod voted against it.

This time, however, McLeod said she is still deciding whether to support the new wording.

“I can actually see both sides of the issue,” she told KTW. “Some people like the tradition, but other people feel in this day and age that gender-neutral language would be more appropriate.”

A new poll on her website, cathymcleod.ca, asks constituents whether they feel the anthem should or should not be changed

McLeod said she is also interested in hearing from people with opinions on the matter by phone or in person at her office at 6-275 Seymour St.

She’s hoping for a sizeable number of responses to her question.

“If I have a strong response, I’ll certainly let that guide my vote,” McLeod said.

The Conservatives did support a more gender-neutral version of O Canada in 2010, when it was included in the Stephen Harper government’s throne speech.

At the time, it recommended replacing “in all thy sons command” with “thou dost in us command,” the wording when the lyrics were first penned in 1908.

Author Robert Stanley Weir revised the work a few years later, giving us the line in use today.

While the start of the First World War and the accompanying swell of patriotism is often given as a reason for the change, the Canadian Encyclopedia notes the campaign for women’s suffrage was “at its most militant and controversial” at the time Weir reworked the line.

“There was significant disagreement with it, so we walked away from it at the time,” McLeod said of the 2010 Conservative effort.

 

In 2002, Liberal senator Vivienne Poy introduced her own unsuccessful private member’s bill on the matter, using the same phrasing later preferred by the Conservative party.

 

 

Just Posted

Man dies in snowmobile accident during Sun Peaks race

An Alberta man has died as a result of a fatal snowmobile… Continue reading

Lambing in full swing at Aveley Sheep Ranch

Spring is here and this may be most obvious at Aveley Heritage… Continue reading

RCMP looking for grain haulers dumping grain on roadside pull-outs

Illegal practice happening on Highway 5 between Valemount and Avola

Personal Development Weekend Retreat coming up

By K.A. Pendergast Have you ever been stressed? I am sure most… Continue reading

MayDay Parade Theme is “Clearwater Life”

Parade takes place May 18 and starts at Capostinsky Park

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

Most Read