“Get me rewrite!” – a truly inclusive O Canada

by Shari Graydon

The positive responses to our video campaign in pursuit of a more inclusive O Canada are still outpacing the cranky ignorant ones, and among the most inspiring was an email I received from Toronto poet and physician, Ron Charach. He turned his attention to not only eliminating the sexism of our anthem’s lyrics, but also paying tribute to Canada’s first peoples and immigrants.

I think the merits of his rewrite are worth considering:

O Canada, our home on sacred land,
True patriot love, in all of us command,
With glowing hearts we see thee rise
The true north strong and free,
From far and wide thy children come
To stand on guard for thee!
Come, build a land,
Glorious and free,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

In the meantime, a version of the op ed that the Montreal Gazette commissioned from me last week has now been published by papers in Vancouver and Saskatoon, and the video we posted a week ago is continuing to attract viewers.

Appreciating that the current government isn’t likely to revisit this issue, having rescinded its promise in the 2010 throne speech to do so within 24 hours of making it, we still think the debate is an important one. And it helps to build a broad vocal constituency for such a change in advance of political action, rather than cave to the close-minded minority afterwards.

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