OTTAWA, Ontario, February 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Wednesday’s Canadian parliamentary session saw Liberal MPs stand up and deliver a revamped version of “O Canada,” Canada’s national anthem.

Liberal MP Carolyn Bennet, who spearheaded the initiative, sang the “gender neutral, secular, bilingual” anthem with colleagues in an effort to gain appreciation for the new version that excludes lines that she said “irritated a few people.”

Bennett is well-known for her pro-abortion stance, participation in gay pride events, and, more recently, attempting to initiate a Canadian industry for human sperm and eggs.

“Usually when people do a bilingual national anthem, they flip between English and French and the two lines that bug some people stay in,” Bennett said Wednesday. “By flipping back and forth a different way, you can end up with a reasonably coherent version, but the lines that have irritated a few people disappear.”

The new Liberal version of ‘O Canada’ replaces the English lines that say “in all thy sons command” and “God keep our land,” with unrelated lines from the French verse of the anthem.

In the new version Bennett also avoided lines in the full French verse that translate as “land of our forefathers,” “so also is [thy arm] ready to carry the cross,” and “thy valour steeped in faith.”

Embarrassing for the Liberal singers was the actual performance of the anthem.  Bennett was accused of checking her Blackberry, although she maintains that she was simply trying to get the words for her colleagues who did not know them.  During the anthem most of the Liberal MPs resorted to the original version of the anthem, singing the “offensive” phrases out of habit.

Last March a proposal by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to scrub the anthem by replacing the line “in all thy sons command” with a “gender neutral” phrase was immediately met with disapproval by the Canadian public and the idea was quickly dropped.

“We offered to hear from Canadians on this issue and they have already spoken loud and clear,” said Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office at the time. “They overwhelmingly do not want to open the issue,”

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff reportedly said Harper’s suggestion was merely a “symbolic gesture” the government used to ignore real gender issues.

Bennett said she has no intention to officially alter the lyrics of ‘O Canada’, but that she will continue to sing her version when Parliamentarians sing the anthem each Wednesday.


Contact info:

MP Carolyn Bennett
Justice Building, Suite 804
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Phone: (613) 995-9666
Fax: (613) 947-4622
Email: bennec@parl.gc.ca
Blog: http://carolynbennett.liberal.ca/blog/

The Hon. Michael Ignatieff
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Phone: (613) 995-9364
Fax: (613) 992-5880
E-mail: IgnatM@parl.gc.ca