In the current climate of political correctness, many well-intentioned people are heartened by the recent change in Canada’s national anthem to make it gender-neutral. Personally, speaking as a white, Canadian male with obvious privilege issues, I am ambivalent, but this is the state of the world today and while it was probably a step in the right direction, there remains much to be done to make the song, most often heard at hockey games and the winter Olympics, more inclusive.
The one (just one!) line that changed went from this:
“True patriots love, in all thy sons command”
“True patriots love, in all of us command”
a line which doesn’t make much sense to me but what do I know about archaic Canadian grammar. It could just as easily have been rewritten as:
“Blue farts and doves, in all our pants demand”
and still make the same point which is … who knows.
In any case, more changes absolutely need to be implemented as there is a plethora of other terminology that could be deemed discriminatory. For example:
“With glowing hearts we see thee rise”
This is obviously a very serious snub to the sight-impaired formerly known as the blind, who can’t see anything rise, let alone the ambiguous non-visible concept of (and this is the next line) a country called:
“The true north strong and free”
North? What about the southerners? Most Canadians live in the southern part of Canada given the country’s hostile climate. Are those people to be left out? This is not good and the good folks from Vancouver to Toronto will most certainly feel left out. I see a lawsuit coming.
But wait, there’s more:
“Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee”
Here we are leaving out those who, for lack of a better term, can’t stand. What if you are in a wheelchair? What if you’re bedridden. You can’t stand so you’re not included? Shameful.
“God keep our land…”
The whole mention of God raises all kinds of red flags. Which God? Whose God? Also, atheists, of whom there must be a few in the far and wide land, should – and rightfully so – feel left out. A major re-write is necessary here as well.
The challenge is enormous and to really bring Canada into the PC world of today, the entire antiquated anthem; this relic from another, more innocent and homogenous time, needs to be consciously examined.
I suggest a Royal Commission. You can contact the prime minister’s office here: