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This article was published 4/3/2010 (3887 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA -- A move to change the words of the national anthem caught MPs on all sides of the House of Commons by surprise on Thursday.
And for many, the issue has lit up the switchboards back in their constituency offices.
Industry Minister Tony Clement, who represents a central Ontario riding, said his staff fielded calls on the issue.
"And they're 100 per cent against it," Clement said in Ottawa.
The government, in the speech from the throne on Wednesday, said it would simply refer the anthem to a Commons' committee to study its gender neutrality.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay told a Halifax radio show Thursday he wants O Canada to stay the way it is.
Other Conservative MPs, as well, said there was no need for change.
"It's not something I support," said Rod Bruinooge, a Conservative MP from Winnipeg.
"I'm flexible but I'm a traditionalist," said Daryl Kramp, an Ontario Conservative MP.
"I wouldn't mind, though, if it stayed the same."
"I like it the way it is," said Tim Uppal, an Edmonton Conservative.
Anita Neville, a Liberal MP from Winnipeg who is also her party's critic for the status of women, said when she sings the national anthem, she sings her own verse, using "in all of us command," in place of "all thy sons command."
But she said the government is trying to distract Canadians from substantive issues with the surprise announcement to change the anthem.
"It's a sop to the women of Canada when there are so many more pressing issues," Neville said.
-- Canwest News Service
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