Skip to main content
A scary good deal on trusted journalism
Get full digital access to globeandmail.com
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks SAVE OVER $140
OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 31
A scary good deal on trusted journalism
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
SAVE OVER $140
OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 31
// //

O Canada will not change. The sexist lyrics remain.

The Harper government announced this afternoon that it is abandoning its promise to make the national anthem gender neutral by taking out the reference to "sons command" and replacing it with its original lyrics - "true patriot love thou dost in us command."

"The Government will not proceed any further to change our national anthem," the Prime Minister's official spokesman Dimitri Soudas said late this afternoon. "We offered to hear from Canadians on this issue and they have already spoken loud and clear."

Story continues below advertisement

"They overwhelmingly do not want to open the issue.'

The suggestion to change the lyrics - one line in a 6,000 word Speech from the Throne - captured the imagination of Canadians. It also drew the ire of many in the Conservative base.

Coming right after the Olympic Games, during which Canadians were spontaneously erupting in renditions of O Canada on the streets of Vancouver and elsewhere, the Throne Speech suggestion proved controversial.

But there were many women, including those on the Conservative bench, who supported the idea of a change, given that many of the winning Canadian athletes were having to sing the sexist lyrics.

However, even some Liberals scoffed at it. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff questioned the necessity of the change when so many other issues around women's rights could be dealt with.

He called it a symbolic gesture.

(Photo: The Prime Minister sings the national anthem in Calgary last fall. Todd Korol/Reuters)

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies