Non-profit group relaunches campaign for gender neutral national anthem

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

The debate about a gender-neutral national anthem has been in hiatus for the past couple of years — at least in the public sphere.

But an Ottawa-based non-profit group wants it back on the national agenda.

Informed Opinions — a social enterprise gender equity group — has produced a new YouTube video promoting the idea.

In their 2010 throne speech, the Harper Conservatives suggested the change to the national anthem: They wanted to amend the phrase "in all thy sons command." The Prime Minister's Office quickly withdrew the idea citing that Canadians overwhelmingly told them they like the anthem as is.

Shari Graydon, founder of Informed Opinions, argues that the complaints came from a very vocal minority.

"They got backlash from the Conservative base and that was probably predictable," she told Yahoo! Canada News in a telephone interview.

"But the Conservative base is not the majority of the population of the country."

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Graydon notes that this campaign is about re-engaging Canadians in the debate and encouraging the masses to contact their MPs.

"I've already had responses from women [since the YouTube video was released] saying that 'my five year daughter..came home and asked me [why the anthem] says sons and not daughters,'" Graydon says.

"So it remains an issue and will remain an issue as long as the exclusion isn't corrected."

She also reminds us that we don't have to wait for the government to officially change the anthem. As individuals, we each have the right to sing 'O Canada' the gender-neutral way.

So, what do you think? Should the government officially change the anthem? Let us know in the comments below.

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