WARMINGTON: Rather than change national anthem, maybe change the government

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may not be open to holding a public inquiry into communist Chinese interference into Canadian democracy but he is open to is changing the country’s national anthem.

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And he chose Canada Day to announce this.

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I’m open to the changes that Canadians want to see,” Trudeau told the CBC in Ottawa as the country celebrated its 156th birthday.

The assertion came after questions from CBC reporter Catherine Cullin who asked about the alteration of the lyrics by singer Jully Black at the NBA All-Star game in Salt Lake City in February where she arbitrarily replaced “our home and native land” with “home on native land.”

Trudeau said the “anthem changed many times over decades in a lot of different ways” and “I look forward to talking with Indigenous Canadians about how they feel the anthem could or might change. I want to talk with a lot of Canadians.”

So, instead of trying to find out about communist party Chinese operatives trying to influence our elections, Trudeau chose the very national holiday celebrating Canada to announce a process to look into changing O Canada.

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Other politicians piled on Canada on this day too.

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The NDP and Toronto’s newly-elected mayor, who takes office July 12, attended an event at Toronto City Hall to commemorate what Chow in a tweet said was “Chinese People’s Railroad Day to remember over 17,000 Chinese men who built Canada’s national railway – 4000 of whom lost their lives in the process.”

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Chow also tweeted she encourages “Torontonians to learn about Canada’s history and our responsibilities of treaty people.”

While worthy issues, they were such a downer to talk about on Canada Day – especially since Canada has done a lot more good in the world for people from all over the world than it has ever done bad.

No one or no nation is perfect, but Canada has apologized for past wrongs. Our leaders did not allow the country one day – on its birthday – to be proud of being Canadian. Instead, they pushed division and change. It’s not new. In past years, Canada has seen its first prime minister Sir John Macdonald’s statues torn down in most cities – including his hometown of Kingston – and his name taken off of schools, highways and currency.

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Top educators like Egerton Ryerson and James McGill have also faced a similar fate. Even Queen Victoria statues have been vandalized.

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Soon there will be the multi-million mission to remove all of the Dundas Street road signs in Toronto, over unfounded and disputed allegations of racism against Scotsman Henry Dundas who died 212 years ago.

It’s ridiculous that a country’s leaders tear down the very foundation of a wonderful nation. But what is even more offensive is how few stand up to the rewriters of history.

While it still is a free country, if the Prime Minister is free to go on the national public network paid for by taxpayers and say he’s going to consult about altering the anthem, this columnist is free to say leave the anthem alone and don’t change one word of it.

And put back all of those statues of our forefathers too. They are historical Canadian figures and no free country rewrites its past or its glory or shame at the whims of a pop star or a prime minister who has made historical errors himself. Nobody is perfect now and no one was perfect.

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“Canada may have its challenges but we are a nation that rises above many others,” said Toronto MP Kevin Vuong, who was one of the few politicians pushing back Saturday. “We have much to be proud of and must not let our issues overshadow our achievements. Let’s learn from the past – not seek to erase it – and move forward as a nation.”

Independent MP Kevin Vuong (Spadina-Fort York) in his office in Ottawa, Thursday, March 23, 2023.
Independent MP Kevin Vuong (Spadina-Fort York) in his office in Ottawa, Thursday, March 23, 2023. Photo by Bryan Passifiume /Postmedia

Vuong, who has been calling for an inquiry into China’s interference since being told by CSIS he was targetted, is right. 

Canada is not getting answers on that but will get a new anthem lyrics and street signs.

Perhaps what needs to be democratically changed instead is the government.

Happy Canada Day!

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