Progressive lawmakers in Canada endured a setback in their effort to change the country’s national anthem with more gender-neutral language.
Last summer, Canada’s House of Commons overwhelmingly passed legislation altering a line in their national anthem O Canada to be more gender-neutral and inclusive to women. The proposal called for replacing “in all thy sons command” with “in all of us command” in a bid to be more politically correct and not offend any women who may feel left out from the lyrics.
Fortunately, Conservative senators in the upper house successfully led a year-long delay of the bill. The legislation won’t be considered again until the fall (at the earliest) and may be in jeopardy of passing altogether. Conservative senator David Wells led the effort to block the change. He spoke with CBC News about the action:
“I’m trying to protect the tradition rather than, you know, water it down with a politically correct version that is historically inaccurate,” the Newfoundland and Labrador senator said.
“I’ll be working my hardest to delay this bill until there’s a full debate,” he stated. “I get a lot of emails, and many comments to me personally, from people who don’t want to see the anthem change, who see it as a part of our tradition and who see this attempt to change it as political correctness run amok. It is a slippery slope. Calls for inclusion will always be there, but my belief is all Canadians are already included in the national anthem.”
Wells and about 20 other senators oppose the gender-neutral language. Thankfully, they understand that altering something as important as a country’s national anthem only for the sake of pandering to politically correct ideology is utterly ridiculous.
The bill does come with its supporters. They had sorely hoped to have the language changed in time for Canada Day on July 1. Unsurprisingly, it was backed by Trudeau’s administration (a man so “woke” he wore Muslim-themed socks to a gay Pride parade). The Toronto Star wrote an editorial chastising Conservative senators for their blockage of the bill.
Ramona Lumpkin, the president and vice-chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, was super sad the bill has been delayed:
“We’re so close and I really regret that there are a few senators who seem to have dug in and decided to delay. I hope it’s not a permanent block,” Lumpkin said in an interview with CBC News. “It’s not as if the words were brought down from Mount Sinai on stone tablets like the Ten Commandments, they are words created by humans and subject to change as our social and cultural conditions change, and thank goodness they do,” she said.
In their editorial, the Toronto Star accused senators of standing in the way of “progress.” They really believe that striking reference to men in favor of a gender-neutral sentence would be a progressive step for their country and a step forward for girls.
This is breathtakingly naive.
What if Canadian lawmakers did change O Cananda to be more gender inclusive? What would this act actually do for women and girls? Will their salaries and quality of life rise immediately following its passage? Are Canadian women losing sleep at night because a lyric in their national anthem refers to men only? This proposal does absolutely nothing for women. It’s hollow virtue signaling with zero value. It’s flabbergasting to know this is a legislative priority for some in Canada’s capital.
Senator Wells said it best when he compared the bill to WWI pictures hung around the upper chamber:
“Would we now airbrush females into those pictures to accurately reflect what it might be today with those pieces of Canadians’ history? My answer is no, that would be an abomination, and I think that’s what it is with the anthem as well.”