The Canadian Jewish Congress has urged the Canadian government to remove the words “la croix” (the cross) from the French version of “O Canada,” the country’s unofficial national anthem. The House of Commons in Ottawa is debating this week whether to make the song, in use for many years by Canada at national and international functions, the official national anthem.
In a telegram sent today to Canadian Secretary of State Fran is Fox, CJC executive vice president Alan Rose said that the CJC “applauds the government of Canada’s action to make ‘O Canada’ our national anthem. We believe that the words should be such that it may be sung proudly by all Canadians.
“Therefore, we respectfully draw your attention to the French version which contains the words ‘lo croix’ which creates serious problems for Jews and those of non-Christian faiths. We hope that you will take note of our deep concern which is prompted only by the desire that ‘O Canada’ should be a proud national anthem, which can be sung by all Canadians irrespective of origin or religious belief.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.