English-Speaking Canadians Split on More “O Canada” Changes

Younger respondents would welcome a different first line for the national anthem, but their older counterparts are not on board.

Vancouver, BC [August 11, 2023] – The notion of once again altering the lyrics of Canada’s national anthem again is divisive among English-speaking Canadians, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 41% of English-speaking Canadians would agree to change the first line of “O Canada” from “Our home and native land” to “Our home on native land”, while 44% disagree with the proposed modification.

In February, Canadian artist Jully Black sang “O Canada” with the line “Our home on native land” during the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah.

More than half of English-speaking Canadians aged 18-to-34 (55%) agree with amending the lyrics to “O Canada” to swap “and” for “on”, but are joined by just 42% of those aged 35-to-54 and 28% of those aged 55 and over.

“Majorities of English-speaking Canadians of South Asian (68%), Indigenous (64%) and East Asian heritage (51%) endorse the proposed change to the national anthem,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Only 36% of English-speaking Canadians of European descent concur.”

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

Across the country, 48% of English-speaking Canadians agree with this modification (+6 since a similar survey conducted in February 2018), while 34% (-14) disagree and 17% (+7) are undecided.

When asked which of the two versions of the national anthem they prefer, almost half of English-speaking Canadians (47%, -7) choose “in all thy sons command”, while 38% (+4) select “in all of us command”.

English-speaking men (52%) are more likely than English-speaking women (43%) to express a preference for the previous version of “O Canada”.

English-speaking Canadians who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2021 federal election are more likely to prefer the “sons” version of the national anthem (67%) than those who cast ballots for the Liberal Party (43%) and the New Democratic Party (NDP) (36%).

Methodology: 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..

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca