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English-speaking Canadians split on changing 'O Canada' lyrics: survey


A recent survey conducted by Research Co. has revealed that English-speaking Canadians are divided over further “O Canada” revisions.

According to the survey published on Friday, 41 per cent of Anglophone Canadians are in favor of altering the opening line of “O Canada” from “Our home and native land” to “Our home on native land”. However, 44 per cent disagree with the proposed modification.

Back in February, during the NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah, Canadian singer Jully Black performed "O Canada" with the line "Our home on native land" instead of the traditional "Our home and native land." In May, Mississauga, Ont. Mayor Bonnie Crombie also expressed support for the lyrical change. 

The survey also found that 55 percent of English-speaking Canadians in the 18 to 34 age group are supportive of changing the lyrics of "O Canada" by replacing "and" with "on." However, the proportion is lower at 42 per cent for individuals aged 35 to 54 and 28 per cent for those aged 55 and above.

“Majorities of English-speaking Canadians of South Asian (68 per cent), Indigenous (64 per cent) and East Asian heritage (51 per cent) endorse the proposed change to the national anthem,” Research Co. President Mario Canseco said in a news release published on Friday.

“Only 36 per cent of English-speaking Canadians of European descent concur.”

In 2018, the lyrics of the national anthem in English were modified. Specifically, the second line of “O Canada” was changed from “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command”.

In the survey, 48 percent of English-speaking Canadians expressed agreement with this alteration, marking a six-point increase since February 2018.

However, the proportion of those who disagreed decreased by 14 points, now standing at 34 percent while 17 percent of respondents remained undecided, which marks a seven-point increase.

When participants were asked to express their preference between the two versions of the national anthem, the results revealed that nearly half of English-speaking Canadians (47 per cent, down seven points) favoured "in all thy sons command," while 38 per cent (up four points) said they preferred "in all of us command."

The breakdown by gender indicates that English-speaking men (52 per cent) are more inclined to prefer the previous version of "O Canada" compared to English-speaking women (43 per cent).



Results are based on an online study conducted from July 20 to July 24, 2023, among 1,572 English-speaking Canadian adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 2.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.


Reporting for this story was paid for through The Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta. Top Stories

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