After those Canadians who verbalized their desire to leave the Canadian anthem alone, I have the following to say about the major concerns I read:
As stated previously, our current anthem was written in 1939, and at the time women had been considered people under the law for only 10 years and received lower wages, Native children were being forcibly removed from their communities and placed in residential schools, more people were religious in 1939 (2001 Religion Census - 77% of population Christian, 16% no religion, 6% other religions; 55,000 people said Jedi as in Star Wars), World War 2 began and Canada joined Britain in its fight for freedom. The beginning of WW2 perhaps explains the patriotic words in our anthem that I love singing. Since 1939, our ideologies toward minorities, gender, religion, and access to economic choices have changed dramatically (although the Jedi Knights may have increased). If we need to change the anthem to accommodate the changing population of Canada (we are growing in numbers due to immigration), modern day understanding of inclusivity (different genders, abilities, nationalities, religions, non-religious, etc), and to pay homage to the various groups of Inuit, Native and eventually Metis people who lived here for thousands of years before the Europeans arrived, then we would have an anthem that more truly represents who we are. Should the words we sing about our country represent how we have changed and continue to develop? Yes! (Put some great, succinct linguists on this and they would be able to widdle down the verses from the 10 to 2 or 3.)
$100,000 is a drop in the government bucket and is the government really just going to hand over this money to a Women's Shelter or pregnant teenager programs? Sadly, this is not how the regulations of such public organizations work. These organizations have complete extensive grant proposals for public funds or secure private donations. Perhaps Canadians should be more aggressively questioning the governments overspending on things such as the G8 & G20 summits (overspent by $179.4 million dollars in 2009). $100,000 to improve the anthem that states who we really are in 2010 is very little compared to other expenses the current government accrues, and in my opinion money well spent.
We are proud of who we are, especially after such a phenomenal demonstration to the rest of the world during the Olympics. However, did you hear the Russian anthem during the closing ceremonies? That was magnificent! Their anthem has been changed 8 times since 1815 to accommodate their changing political landscape. If change produces an anthem like that, bring it on!
I also think we were afraid of change and do not trust our government. There is also a strong backlash towards political correctness as we have forgotten the reasons why this movement began (see Canadian behaviour in 1939). I believe that political correctness makes us more understanding, willing to see other points of view, helps us improve our behaviours, and demonstrates knowledge that the world is full of different cultures and ways of life. Being able to see differences and respect them in a shrinking world is positive and I am concerned that Canadians are living in their small world afraid of being influenced by other ways of life, expecting conformity rather than living side by side in harmony.
Lastly, I enjoy being called a maiden and I am proud of our stalwart sons, so why can't we verbalize both genders in the first verse rather than burying it in the third? Therefore, I will continue singing ‘true patriot love in all of our command.” Feel free to join me.