Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl is releasing the results of an online survey on proposed changes the to Canadian anthem. (Black Press file)

Chilliwack-Hope MP says most oppose changes to anthem

Survey respondents mostly against the idea of making the lyrics gender neutral

Most respondents to an online poll said they are opposed to changing the lyrics to O Canada to make them more gender neutral.

Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl posted the survey question to gauge opinions about proposed changes to the national anthem, changing the words from “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.”

The results of Strahl’s survey yielded 88 per cent against the changes with 2,184 people opposed.

The question was: “Do you think the lyrics of our Canadian national anthem should be changed?”

Only 11 per cent of those who responded were in favour of the proposed changes, or 279 respondents.

“These survey results demonstrate that O Canada is an important Canadian symbol that the majority of Chilliwack-Hope respondents are firmly against changing,” said MP Strahl.

His take is that the Liberal government “rushed” the legislation for Bill C-210 through the House with almost no consultation.

The bill launched by MP Mauril Bélanger, made it to the Senate after being approved. But MP Strahl voted against it in the House of Commons at the time, in part because of feedback he received from constituents.

“I voted against it because I believe Canadians deserve to be consulted any time one of our cherished national symbols could be changed,” he added in a news release.

“People in Chilliwack-Hope clearly feel very strongly about the issue, as I received the one of the highest number of responses to this survey of all that I’ve shared in more than six years as MP.”

“Many Senators also believe Canadians should have been consulted on this change and some have proposed amendments, therefore this bill could return to the House of Commons this fall for another vote.

“If it does, based on these results I will be voting against it once again.”

But MP Bélanger, who pushed for the changes, argued initially he felt the two-word change to O Canada would actually return the lyric closer to the original, which was “thou dost in us command.” It changed to “all thy sons” in 1914, and is a reference to the armed forces which were embarking on the First World War.

The MP’s survey was conducted in May.

Results:

Do you think the lyrics of our Canadian national anthem should be changed?

NO……………2184 = 88%

YES……………279 = 11%

UNSURE……….11 = 1%

Total number of constituents who completed the survey: 2474


 

@chwkjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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