Tune soli­tudes

The Walrus - - LETTERS -

There’s noth­ing ter­ri­bly new in Peter Kuiten­brouwer’s ac­count of Que­be­cers’ com­plex re­la­tion­ship with the na­tional an­them (“‘O Canada, Beloved Coun­try, Thou!’” July/au­gust). Que­bec is, for the most part, ide­o­log­i­cally sep­a­rate from the rest of Canada, and the ab­sence of “Ocanada” in the province is just one sign of that di­vide. What is more in­ter­est­ing, how­ever, is the bill cur­rently be­fore the Se­nate that would change the an­them’s English lyrics to make them gen­der neu­tral. Some see the cur­rent lyrics as sacro­sanct. Yet, as Kuiten­brouwer’s ar­ti­cle points out, “O Canada” has had dif­fer­ent lyrics at dif­fer­ent times in his­tory. The pre-1914 ver­sion was gen­der and faith neu­tral — as it should be in a just and sec­u­lar democ­racy. Mel Si­moneau

Gatineau, QC

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