His country still

National Anthem>> Gender • Canada

 
Published: Monday 30 November -0001

Writer Margaret Atwood is all for gender-neutral anthemA group of prominent Canadians have launched a campaign to make the English-language lyrics of Canada’s national anthem more gender-neutral. The group, which includes author Margaret Atwood and former prime minister Kim Campbell, objects to the line, “in all thy sons command”.

The women say a revision to O Canada’s lyrics would “encapsulate the equality of all Canadians”. The campaign is backed by senator Nancy Ruth and former senator Vivienne Poy.

It was first performed in 1880, with several versions of the lyrics emerging in the coming years, according to Canadian Heritage. The women say the English version of the song at one point contained the line “thou dost in us command”, which in 1913 was revised to “in all thy sons command”.

The Canadian government, led by the Conservative Party, dismissed a similar request to change the anthem to more gender-neutral language in 2010. The leader of the opposition New Democratic Party has also dismissed the new effort, saying the anthem is “wonderful” as it is.

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