National anthem was fine as it was

Last week the House of Commons approved a change to the text of our national anthem.

Dear editor,

Last week the House of Commons approved a change to the text of our national anthem.

While usually inadvisable, altering national symbols is not necessarily wrong, though certainly requiring much deliberation.

But whatever the validity of the proposed change, it must be made clear that it does nothing for its stated goal of improving gender equality. We have sung the offensive phrase for a century with no thought of excluding women. We mention only ‘sons’, but we mean all Canadians. Using masculine words with a general reference is, in fact, common in our language.

Word choice is especially important in poetry, where more than just the literal meaning is at stake. The current text is a great improvement: the words we know are easier to sing than either Dr. Weir’s original (‘thou dost in us’) or the new proposal (‘in all of us’). Our parliamentarians fail as poets.

Far from demonstrating any superior notion of inclusiveness, proponents of the change show that they lack the ability to understand basic English. Is it wishful thinking to hope that the Senate will show more common sense?

Brendon Johnson


Just Posted

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message: Campbell River RCMP

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Comox Valley child gets dream vacation from Make-A-Wish Foundation

Elliot Hunter went to Disneyland and met Lightning McQueen

UPDATED: Two vehicles seen leaving bloody scene of Courtenay shooting

32-year-old victim in stable condition and known to police

Courtenay to host the BC Regionals FireFit Championships

‘Toughest two minutes in sports’ coming to the Comox Valley

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Most Read