O Canada… Oh, Canada


A few years ago the Conservative government threw a bone (briefly) to Canadian women, and (rashly, as it turned out) promised to update the lyrics to our national anthem to include the 50% of the population currently excluded. (Rumour has it that outspoken advocate for women, Senator Nancy Ruth, pressed her colleagues into doing the right thing — one of the many reasons we’re proud to call her an honorary patron.)

I celebrated by writing an op ed for the Ottawa Citizen saluting the measure, but by the time the paper hit the newsstands, backlash from the Conservative party base had caused the government to rescind on its momentary burst of fair-mindedness.

Along with, I suspect, millions of other equality-supporting citizens, I remain irked about this. I think it’s a national shame that O Canada continues to cite only the nation’s “sons”, when it could easily substitute a gender-inclusive reference.

Indeed, many Canadians already replace the official wording with lyrics that more accurately reflect the country’s reality.

This week, Ashley Armstrong, who is currently providing invaluable admin and communications support to Informed Opinions, created the impactful 86-second video campaign above that draws attention to this issue.

As the country prepares to celebrate Canada Day, we urge you to watch, tweet, share, like, link to and talk about it. “Daughters” everywhere will thank you!

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Follow Shari Graydon:

Founder and Catalyst of Informed Opinions, and an award-winning author, educator and women’s advocate with more than 20 years of experience on both sides of the microphone. Since 2010, Shari has helped amplify the voices of thousands of women across Canada, supporting them in sharing their insights and analysis with a broader public. Her most recent book, OMG! What if I AM the right person? advances those goals.

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