The majority of Canadians would support changing the lyrics of O Canada, to make them gender inclusive, according to a new poll by Mainstreet Research.
The survey was commissioned by Sing All of Us, an organization advocating for a gender neutral English national anthem, and polled 2.027 Canadians on May 11.
Researchers found 62% of Canadians would support changing the anthem to make it gender neutral, by replacing “all thy sons” with “all of us” in the second line.
In a release, Sen. Nancy Ruth, co-founder of Sing All of Us, explained why she wants to change the lyrics.
“We can take our English national anthem out of the historical, World War I ice box some have put it in,” said Ruth. “We can let it thaw a little, grow a little, in this new century.”
Bill C-210, a private members’ bill sponsored by MP Mauril Bélanger to make the change to Canada’s national anthem, will again be debated in the House of Commons on May 30.
“We love our country and all of its people. Our anthem is important to us, and we want it to clearly include every Canadian,” said Bélanger in the release.
Interestingly, the change would not just make the Canadian national anthem gender neutral – it would also restore the original English lyrics.
Those lyrics, which were originally written in 1908, were altered in 1913 ahead of World War One.
The gender neutral phrase “True patriot love, thou dost in us command” was changed to “True patriot love in all thy sons command.”
The study found 54% Canadians had no idea the original lyrics had ever been changed.