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Canada’s anthem back in the hot seat

by Shari Graydon

Jian Ghomeshi calls it common sense. But will the government listen?

Restore Our Anthem

Last week, some of Canada’s most notable women (including Informed Opinions Honorary Patrons, Senator Nancy Ruth and the Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell) launched a formidable campaign advocating that gender-neutral lyrics be restored to Canada’s national anthem. Since then, all sorts of media heavyweights — including the host of CBC’s Q — have championed the cause. And no wonder.

Restore Our Anthem uses a powerful two-minute video to remind Canadians that the original lyrics to O Canada didn’t exclude women, and there’s no reason the ones we sing in 2013 should either. The site includes a comprehensive list of FAQs and timeline of the anthem’s history, and brilliantly showcases the absurdity of hanging on to the outdated words. It even features a user-friendly politician-locator that makes it easy for supporters to write to their elected representatives.

The call for restoring our anthem likely sounds familiar. In July, Informed Opinions launched its own campaign demanding the same change be made to O Canada’s lyrics. Our short, emotionally charged video and accompanying written pieces received overwhelmingly positive support from women and men across the country. But we’re still waiting.

As the momentum behind Restore Our Anthem continues to build, we hope the small change necessary to re-establish a gender inclusive national anthem will follow. Let’s commemorate the 100th anniversary of the initial revisions to O Canada with another change — one that reflects our country’s reality.

To learn more about the campaign, or to add your voice to the growing chorus of Canadians demanding equality, click here.

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