After a damning report stating that women’s rights in Canada have been in decline since 2004 in February, the Harper government has lain out a response in today’s Throne Speech.
The response being you might ask? Let’s use the Throne Speech’s own words:
Our Government will also ask Parliament to examine the original gender-neutral English wording of the national anthem.
What exactly does that mean? Well, let’s look at the words:
|O Canada!||O Canada!|
|Our home and native land!||Our home, our native land,|
|True patriot love in all thy sons command.||True patriot love thou dost in us command.|
|With glowing hearts we see thee rise,||We see thee rising fair, dear land,|
|The True North strong and free!||The True North strong and free;|
|From far and wide, O Canada,||And stand on guard, O Canada,|
|We stand on guard for thee.||We stand on guard for thee.|
|God keep our land glorious and free!||O Canada! O Canada!|
|O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.||O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.|
|O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.|
So basically, as far as I can tell, the Harper government is going to ask Parliament to replace the words “True patriot love in all thy sons command” with “True patriot love thou dost in us command.”
From a gender-neutrality point of view, this change is a step forward. But does it do anything substantive to address the wage gap between men and women, or a lack of affordable, accessible, professional child care?
I don’t think so.