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

School for students on Hornby Island ‘normal as can be’: portables expected in new year

While it’s not an ideal situation, the return to school for students… Continue reading

Christmas comes early for residents of Cumberland Lodge

It’s Christmas in September at Cumberland Lodge. The Rotary Club of Cumberland… Continue reading

Big Beach Cleanup builds awareness of ocean debris impacts

First two cleanup days brought in 40 cubic yards of plastic and styrofoam

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

‘Hero’ kid fighting cancer helping with B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Penticton’s Wills Hodgkinson helping raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Most Read