One of the most frequent questions when I was being interviewed about the convocation change at the University of Alberta was what I thought about the anthem and whether I wanted it changed. I mostly answered neutrally since I wanted to keep the focus on the topic at hand.
But now, after a prorogation no one ordered, and a throne speech that was bound to disappoint, Prime Minister Harper dropped this in my lap:
Our Government will also ask Parliament to examine the original gender-neutral English wording of the national anthem.
As Northern BC Dipper points out, that amounts to changing the line “True patriot love in all thy sons command” to potentially “true patriot love thou dost in us command” although I’ve also used the line (and heard others recommend) “in all of us command.”
It is worth noting that that same 1908 version that Harper seems to want to go to is also religiously neutral, that is secular.
With the Vancouver Olympics just ending with Canada’s record 14 official playings of the anthem (and how many countless spontaneous ones), I opted to change “God keep our land” to “We’ll keep our land.” Alternatively another “O Canada” was used in place of “God keep our land.”
The current version only came into being officially with the 1980 National Anthem Act, and with a government that’s willing to look at changes (albeit removing religious references is likely not on their radar), it may be the perfect time for Canadian secularists to act.