" Oh Canada"

Monique - posted on 11/29/2011 ( 56 moms have responded )

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I'm in disgust that the Canadian governent are actually leaning towards not singing " oh Canada" in schools any more!! The reason? Because it might make others feel left out and discriminated!!

1 WE LIVE IN CANADA be proud, yea we have our problems but this is an amazing country compared to Others.

2 feeling offended or left out? The people coming from other countries .... Did they really think we were going to change our values, our history or country because we decided to share our country with others?

3 it's not just about " oh Canada " that ticks me off it's the " happy holidays " too!! we can't say Merry Christmas anymore in schools Christmas concerts it's the fact that we are not our own country anymore. We go to Spain to enjoy their lifestyle their food, we go to Jamacia to experice their culture and art. We go any where and we are to have respect experience, we learn, we taste and we enjoy! If we don't like other cultures we stay in our own country! Simple! I'm disappointed that a simple "merry Christmas " or a 1minute in the morning to sing oh Canada is such a horrible thing after everything our souldiers our past generations had to endure to have this country our's. And everything we gave up for others to come here and be safe from dangers in their own country, to have freedom, to go to school to work here.... Or maybe just because thu wanted to come! No questions asked And now we can't sing our song!

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Johnny - posted on 11/29/2011

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1. In Canada, the Canadian government does not make decisions about what happens in the schools. It is the purview of the provinces, and in turn, local school districts. While the Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides over-arching legislation about discrimination and rights that schools must abide by, the government itself has no say in the application. The courts do.

2. The current government of Canada is not at all politically interested in getting rid of the singing of the national anthem anywhere. The base of the Conservative party, their main supporters and voters would be completely opposed to such a move. In fact, the current governing party has been making moves to re-introduce some of the lingo related to our British origins by renaming things with the title of "Royal" and also bringing back the singing of "God Save the Queen".

3. As others have mentioned, there does not appear to be any current move on a national, provincial or local level to change the rules on the singing of the national anthem.

I personally live in a very multicultural city, in a very multicultural neighborhood with a large portion of immigrants. Oh Canada is sung at all the school assemblies and gatherings, as well as other special events. My experience with new Canadians is generally that they are quite enthused to be here, and very keen to learn and sing our national anthem. They chose to come here and while they may have issues with the government or other things, just like the rest of us, they believe Canada is a fantastic place to live and are thankful to be here. Obviously there are some bad apples, just as in any lot, but I actually notice that at le"ethnic minorities" and new Canadians tend to have higher rates of civic involvement than Canadians who have been here for a long time.

I am not sure where you get the idea that those people coming are asking us to stop singing our national anthem (something most sing with beaming pride during their citizenship ceremony-where they also learn the history of the anthem). Most of the time it's just one officious bureaucrat with a bee in their bonnet who comes up with these sorts of plans.

4. I'm pretty sure no one is stopping you from saying Merry Christmas, hanging Christmas decorations, singing Christmas Carols and having the privilege of hearing them ad nauseum in every store you go into, I'm not sure where this lie about there being a "war on Christmas" was made up or why, but it's time that people stopped spreading it. It is simply not true. I'm waiting for someone to show me some actual evidence of it happening (and don't tell me about how the local government is unable to display a nativity scene because that is NOT the same thing).

I see kids in my daughter's school and all the local schools doing Christmas activities, decorating, visits from Santa, raising money for the less fortunate, and generally learning about the Christmas spirit. Even the Sikh private school I drive by on my commute has a Christmas tree all decorated out front and a big blow-up Santa on the lawn.

I'm noticing this trend for people to get really into imagining that they are persecuted, discriminated against, or are otherwise not allowed to express their cultural traditions when there is no evidence that this is happening at all. Is this stemming from some feelings of inadequacy? Because we haven't had it as bad as other people in the shitty experiences department? Or is it that it bothers us that other people in our country might want to bring their own traditions, cultures and religions to share with us? I just don't get it.

I enjoy my own culture, celebrating my background and history. I am a mutt of British/Scandanavian descent and I am proud of my heritage, I enjoy our traditions, and continue to practice the cultural habits I grew up with. Some parts of my family have a long history in Canada, and others are only a generation or two. We are not what we were when our ancestors came. They brought their cultural traditions, languages and cultures from their home countries and as the generations have passed, they have mixed in with those of other cultural backgrounds to form what is now "Canadian". This evolution didn't stop at some point, it continues. Our culture, everyone's culture, is constantly evolving.

Mrs. - posted on 11/30/2011

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I believe this may have come from a facebook "post this on your status" thing. My husbands cousin posted something with almost exactly the same content as the OP. I went online and found the same old articles with no proof of this happening in the present. I remember it well because there was quite a telling debate that happened online and she was quite upset about it.

The original facebook status thing had way more of an anti-immigrant slant to it too.

I think this is just another example of how quickly this misinformation can get out there - especially when it is designed to get people angry at a certain group in the country.

Krista - posted on 11/30/2011

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AND, just as a side rant, what the hell is so offensive about "Happy Holidays" anyway? "Holiday" derives from "Holy Day". Are people just butthurt because it doesn't specifically single out how precious and special THEIR holiday is?

And one other thing! Why do people get their knickers in a twist about not always hearing "Merry Christmas" throughout the month of December? IT'S NOT CHRISTMAS YET! CHRISTMAS IS ON DECEMBER 25TH!!!!! I don't wish someone a happy Valentine's Day on February 1st. So why the hell should I be glared at for wishing someone a happy holiday season, in the weeks leading up to Christmas?

Krista - posted on 11/30/2011

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And just as an FYI, in 2009, the school board super reinstated that they would sing the anthem at that particular school.

So this is all really much ado about nothing, Monique. The government has no say in whether they sing the anthem in schools. That's up to the administration.

And plenty of people still say Merry Christmas.

Besides, it's pretty damned arrogant of you to imply that saying "Happy Holidays" is somehow un-Canadian. People who celebrate Hanukkah, or Kwanzza, or Yule, or nothing at all -- they are JUST as Canadian as you are. I say "Happy Holidays" because I know that it's not all about ME and MY celebrations -- this time of year is also a time of celebration for people who follow other traditions.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/29/2011

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Monique first off I'm an American living in Canada, yes it's an amazing country, but I still love my country. Yes the US has issues too, but nothing can change the fact that I'm an American citizen and love my country.

Second my daughter attends school in BC and they don't sing 'Oh Canada' in their schools here in the Okanagan. I'll have to ask my husband to confirm this, but I don't believe they had to sing 'Oh Canada' when he attended school in BC either and he's a natural born citizen. So I have no idea what your rant is about concerning that.

I'm not sure where you're getting that you can't say: Merry Christmas either. Heck for Remembrance Day here in Kelowna the grade 1 class my daughter is in made crosses and hung them in the hall with the words: Lest We Forget. No one raised a fuss. I used to work in a predominantly Jewish assisted living facility and we decorated for Christmas and Hanukkah to celebrate both holidays. You can still say "Merry Christmas" because Canada like the US has the freedom of speech and you are entitled to say Merry Christmas even if to some it's just another day.

In conclusion I am officially confused because there aren't any such issues here in British Columbia with the public schools. For us we're more concerned with the strike to work that's been going on before school started

56 Comments

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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I figured. I just wanted to be a smart ass first thing in the morning (it's only 8:15am here)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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Sylvia, but you know the Jewish law, if the child's mother is Jewish then the child is Jewish :)

I know in the north and south in the US they used to do the Lord's prayer in public schools, but I started school in 1986 and it wasn't done. Even in my Catholic school we didn't do that.

Sylvia - posted on 12/02/2011

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@Kimberly, my older sister's school tried to make her say the Lord's Prayer (she's 13 years older than me; that particular bad idea was over and done with by the time I started school). My dad marched down there and told them what he thought of making a Jewish kid say a Christian prayer in a public school. (My dad wasn't Jewish, btw; he just had strong views on the separation of church and state.) They didn't make her say it anymore after that.

Kimberly - posted on 12/02/2011

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We sang 'Oh Canada' and 'God save the Queen' had to repeat the lords prayer and sang 'Johnny apple tree' before lunch while I was at school. I know live in Australia and when they play there anthem I will stand and sing along to the words I know just as I would do to my own. Now I will always love Canada as my home but I made the CHOICE to live in Australia so there for I want to be part of Australia which means having there anthem!!!! I will also say Merry Christmas to people because I do want them to have one. I will respect your culture and the values that you have but I also ask that you respect mine as well. We dont go to your home country telling you to change everything because we dont like it so dont do it to us.

Sylvia - posted on 12/01/2011

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Meggy, I also know all 7 verses of "The First Nowell", all 3 verses of "O Come All Ye Faithful" (in English AND Latin), all 4 verses of "Personent Hodie", all the choruses from Handel's Messiah, both soprano and alto choral parts in Beethoven's 9th Symphony and Orff's Carmina Burana, and an enormous number of other totally useless things :D I've been singing in choirs since I was 9 years old, and apparently I memorize music easily. Not sure whether that's a gift or a curse -- possibly the reason I never managed to learn calculus was that my brain was already full of the entire scores of H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado, The Gondoliers, My Fair Lady, and Le Nozze di Figaro and there was no more room in there? :P

I also know the tune, although not the words, to the national anthem of the Philippines. (It's very cheerful.) I do not, however, know any more verses of "The Star-Spangled Banner", although I know there are more verses. They were all Canadian choirs ;)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/01/2011

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Sylvia anything with the word Knave is going to make me laugh and believe that that's the best line!

Tania, my daughter was in Catholic school last year so they did a lot of masses and prayers there. This year she's in public school and they just do the anthem (I almost typed theme song) during assemblies. I live in a medium sized city but even here we do say Merry Christmas a lot. My MIL lives in a small town and they say it too.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/01/2011

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omg Sylvia! Are you some kind of genius at finding the best lyrics for songs? I'm singing that one for God Save the Queen too! Knavish tricks. rofl.

Tania - posted on 12/01/2011

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I grew up in the nation's capital so maybe its different here. We sang Oh Canada every morning from elementry school right through to HS. I also went to catholic school so we alway celebrated catholic hilidays and said prays, went to church and in HS there was an option to go to mass every morning.
My son now goes to a public hS and although they don't pray or take religion they do sing Oh Canada.
As for the Merry Christmas bit, I live in a small town now so everyone says it.
One more thing.....GO SENS GO!!!

Sylvia - posted on 12/01/2011

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Heather, I know, right? Way better than the first verse.

"G-d Save the Queen (or King, depending)" also has multiple verses! Accreted over centuries, one gathers. There's a particularly hilarious one that ends

...
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks!
On thee our hopes we fix;
G-d save the Queen/King!

Stifler's - posted on 11/30/2011

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Why should anyone have to sing the anthem. We never sang the anthem at my high school ever.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/30/2011

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Becky! LOL first off Hell to the no! No Oilers! I have to show some loyalty to my friend who refers to Calgary as the forbidden city! :) After that I can't say much because I only moved to Canada back in June.

I;m trying to figure out if I want to send a Canuck's hockey stick to a cousin of mine back in New York.

Becky - posted on 11/30/2011

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No way to the Oilers and Canucks! Flames all the way!
And that's really all I have to add, since I spent most of my school years outside of Canada and my kids aren't in school yet.

Lady Heather - posted on 11/30/2011

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Ummm...GO CANUCKS.

I really like that second verse of the anthem Sylvia. Imma gonna sing that one instead.

We didn't sing the anthem every morning where I went to school. It was just for assemblies and special events and such. They did make sure we knew it, but that wasn't a problem for me because I'm told I used to parade about with a cape singing it at the age of 2. lulz.

Ashley - posted on 11/30/2011

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haha... Meggy actually if I had to pick my #2 team it is the Canadiens... My father is a huge fan.
My sister is actually living in florida with her husband who is an american citizen and her kids are full American b/c they were born there go figure... :P but we push our Canadianism on the kids as much as we can... especially hockey though they are Bolt fans

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/30/2011

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LOL Thanks Ashley Canada may be my home, but America is still my native land :)



Oilers and Canucks... well at least they aren't the Canadiens (my MIL's boyfriend is a fan). Aw well.. Sabres all the way!



ETA: I wonder what my 9 month old will be singing and if she'll be lying since she has dual citizenship.

Ashley - posted on 11/30/2011

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I think that the best part of Canada is we love our newbies!! Sing it LOUD Meggy :P and especially your little one!
The Oilers??? I guess better than the Canucks :P

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/30/2011

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Bah on the Flames! Go Oilers! I have to say that because of my friend in Slave Lake

Sylvia, thanks for the French translation but you did not want to hear it! My French is really REALLY bad.

Does it bother anyone that when my 7 year old daughter and I sing 'Oh Canada' We're kinda lying because of the line 'My home and native land'?

Ashley - posted on 11/30/2011

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I really love the french version of "Oh Canada" and I learned it in the school I attended in Northern Alberta for my french class. When I was little our school did play Oh Canada everyday, and if I started my day in french class we sang in french. Thank you Sylvia for the translation. I still tend to sing a combined version when I am at the Flames games.

Sylvia - posted on 11/30/2011

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ZOMG Christina Aguilera. So. Awful.

The French version of "O Canada" was actually written long before the English version. If anyone else is interested, here's what it means:

O Canada, terre de nos aïeux,
O Canada, land of our forefathers/ancestors
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux
Your brow is circled with glorious {this is literally "florets" but I think it probably means something like "laurels"}
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée
Because your arm knows how to bear a sword {i.e., you know how to fight}
Il sait porter la croix
It [also] knows how to bear the cross {i.e., of peace}
Ton histoire est une épopée des plus brillants exploits
Your story is an epic of glorious deeds
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
And your valour, imbued with faith
Protégéra nos foyers et nos droits
Will protect our homes and our rights

A bit violent, but ...

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/30/2011

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Sylvia, I hope there's a 3rd verse because the 2nd forgot the mountains! And DH should get his citizenship revoked (and handed to me) for not caring about the 2nd verse :P



LOL Oh Canada trivia? The French/francophone version is not a direct translation from the English (and vise versa) and has a lot more religious references than the English including "bearing the cross"



Oh yes I concure about bad singers messing up national Anthems. I can't stand how easily the Star Spangled Banner is ruined by so many people who are supposed professional singers! Come on! I can sing it and my singing shouldn't be heard outside the car or shower and I don't mess up the damn lyrics! Christina Agulera DESERVED to be booed for her Super Bowl performance.



Krista so true. A lot of natural born Americans and Canadians forget that their families are decended from immigrants themselves. Heck I'm an immigrant because I just moved from New York to British Columbia! And I must say your Thanksgiving confuses the Hell out of me and you should at least do it on a Thursday and give people Friday off.

Sylvia - posted on 11/30/2011

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Everything Johnny said.

My DD's school (in Toronto -- Johnny, are we neighbours?) plays "O Canada" over the PA system every morning, and the kids sing along. When I was in elementary school (in Calgary, in the 1980s), we sang "O Canada" at the beginning of every assembly and "G-d Save the Queen" at the end; there was no daily anything.

Are we doing "O Canada" trivia now? :D Because I personally am quite fond of the second verse of "O Canada", which goes like this:

O Canada, where pines and maples grow,
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow!
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From east to western sea,
Thou land of hope for all who toil --
Thou true North strong and free!

I heard "O Canada" sung in Cree once, at the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. That was pretty cool. What I really like is the 4-part SATB Godfrey Ridout (Rideout? too lazy to look him up, sorry) arrangement, with orchestra. What I really do NOT like is wannabe pop singers who sing "O Canada" at hockey games and sound like they're throwing up on every note :P The great thing about "O Canada" is that (unlike "The Star-Spangled Banner" -- is there *any* key you can sing that song in where both the high bits and the low bits are actually in your vocal range? Unless you're, like, Julie "7 octaves" Andrews?) it's super easy to sing, so at hockey games everybody sings along and you usually can't even here the crappy wannabe pop singer ;)

Ashley - posted on 11/30/2011

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On another note, as a Ukranian Canadian (well 1/4 anyway) I celebrate Christmas twice! Lol...

Ashley - posted on 11/30/2011

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haha exactly Krista, we forget how young Canada and the US really are and what we did to those who lived here first. I am sure they might have something to say about the whole debate ;)

Krista - posted on 11/30/2011

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Besides...if we really want to split hairs, and talk about protecting Canadian culture from those dastardly immigrants, then we'd need to go back in time and erase all of the ways that WE dastardly immigrants (like the Escotts from...ahem...England) came over and changed this nation.

Ashley - posted on 11/30/2011

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I am pretty sure that the OP is one of those scare tactic FB or emails that go around riling up any extreme conservative who feels like the "Canadian/American Culture" is being done away with by the uncomprimising immigrants. Such Phooey! I feel for the people who come to our country and get this bad rap b/c someone (who is likely not an immigrant) caused a scene about some Un-PC... Political Correctness is so full of contradictions.
I love the holidays, saying Merry Christmas and all the magic that comes with it. I also know alot of hindu and muslim families that celebrate things Christmas b/c they enjoy the holidays as well. I secretly wished I was Jewish when I was younger but that was my greedy side lol. I think we need to respect each others celebrations through out the whole year, but in this holiday season when everything gets mashed together, shouldn't we be more gracious than ever?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/30/2011

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Amie, my 7 year old was in an American Catholic school last year and they didn't even say a prayer in the morning! Neither did we when I was in Catholic school.

When I moved up here in June Canada was seemingly going back to its British heritage by renaming their Navy. I also find it intersting that Queen Elizabeth is on the front of the coins. My husband still hasn't explained that.

I was joking about the Bloc. I do know that in the last election they were down to 2 seats in Parliment because it seems even their own province is sick of the separatist movement.

Amie - posted on 11/30/2011

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I sang the national anthem, God Save the queen and said a prayer in school before I started the day, way back when.

My kids, in the city, sang the national anthem, every day before school. Now that we're rural, they sing the anthem and say a prayer before school. They can be excused for the prayer if they want though. Everyone sings the anthem.

Oh and Meggy, since we're in the western half of the country (I'm in Saskatchewan) the Bloc usually ignores everyone over this way. I doubt there will be a fuss about it being sung in English only over this way.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/30/2011

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So basically the OP got upset about a 2 year old news story that has diddly to do with the rest of NB or Canada in general? I love this country!

Amanda - posted on 11/30/2011

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Btw my childrens school has a christmas tree set up in the front hallway. Christmas nor the athem is going anywhere in Ontario schools.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/29/2011

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Thanks for the information Johnny. Now for five seconds I can be more informed on Canada than my husband :)

My 7 year old is an American citizen who attended a private Catholic school last year and now attends a public school here in British Columbia. She says that in her school assemblies they sing Oh Canada (In English so I bet the Bloc Quebecois will raise a stink sooner or later) and all the other stuff. But I'm guessing it's a choice.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 11/29/2011

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Yeah there is a lot of this and more going around in America. I remember a school didn't want to say the Pledge of Allegiance when I little so I came home and asked my mommy (lol) why..



The thing that gets me is how drastic it's getting - like asking people/forcing communities to take down standing crosses and structures.



Ok ok I get that everyone doesn't believe in God or the same God so they want the In God We Trust off the money. We are afterall the melting pot. Makes enough sense. But I don't know why they are going to such extremes.



Even cemetaries! My ex bf was burrying his mom and the cemetary wouldn't let them put up a stone angel. The angel had to be carved into the stone?! Come on.. I was totally shocked because when you lose someone you are already going through enough and I just don't see the point in how having an angel next to another persons beliefs in a cemetary would ruin it for anyone? It's what they believed in? I can't express my feelings on this enough.. I just don't get it...



lol@ Christy.. I agree

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/29/2011

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Ok DH just got home and he says he never had to sing Oh Canada in the morning at his schools here in BC. Maybe it's just a New Brunswick thing?

Jane - posted on 11/29/2011

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BTW there are a lot of little kids down here who now know how to swear in French.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/29/2011

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Sorry for the double post but I looked for information. All I can find is two links about a school in New Brunswick doing away with the song being sung every morning. It's not being banned altogether nor is it being completely dropped.



http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunsw...



Hope that helps



ETA: This news story is nearly 3 years old. Sorry.



LOL Jane! I was watching a Canucks game Saturday night and there was a fight 3 minutes into the game!

Jane - posted on 11/29/2011

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@Meggie - Our team may be mostly Canadian players, but I assure you they aren't the GOOD Canadian players. We don't score much at all, and rarely win, but we fight pretty good. Once 10 guys, including a coach, got thrown out of the game. We are the Corpus Christi Rayz. Only three times did we ever make the playoffs, but only one time did we get past the first round (we got creamed in the second round).

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/29/2011

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Jane and Christy. I think that's the case with a lot of Hockey Teams. During the Winter Classic games they sing both the American and Canadian anthems even when a Canadian team isn't playing. My husband is actually convinced that the reason the Canadian teams aren't good is because the American teams have all the Canadian players!



We do the same thing here in Canada when there's an American team playing we do both national anthems.



Krista, I'm wondering that myself since I live in Canada.

Jane - posted on 11/29/2011

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@Christy - We sing it because 90% of our hockey team is from Montreal. Our team isn't good enough to play any officially Canadian teams, just Austin and Laredo and such.

Christy - posted on 11/29/2011

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@ Jane, YES! I am in Texas, too. When the Dallas Stars would play Canada, we respected the song and stood up.

Krista - posted on 11/29/2011

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I'm in disgust that the Canadian governent are actually leaning towards not singing " oh Canada" in schools any more!!

Do you have a source for this?

Jane - posted on 11/29/2011

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I don't care if you say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Good Ramadan, Joyous Bodhi Day, or Riotous Saturnalia. Just say something nice and I'll say something nice back.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/29/2011

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I used to tell residents merry Christmas and they'd tell me happy Hanukkah. I guess after being persecuted for your beliefs and losing relatives you learn to be accepting of others.

Jane - posted on 11/29/2011

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Down here in Texas we sing "Oh, Canada" before the hockey games, right after "The Star-Spangled Banner." We like it - it's a lot easier to sing than our anthem.

Christy - posted on 11/29/2011

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Same crap going on here in the U.S. If I were in Canada, I would be respectful to the anthem!!!!!!!!!!!!

The thing that makes me most upset (NO OFFENSE) is people coming to the U.S. illegally and demanding rights that they DO NOT have in their own country, and we as U.S. citizens seem to have to "bow down" to what the want, and pay all these freakin' taxes for them when they do not pay any at all. WTF?

(as I await bashing).............

Amanda - posted on 11/29/2011

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I am confused the only thing I can find on the net about schools stopping O Canada is one school in NB that did it in 2007



I just asked my children if their school plays it, and sure enough they do. So Im not sure what your rant is about since this actually isnt the case in public schools at all, at least not in Ontario.



As for Merry Christmas, it is just polite to say Happy Holidays, no biggy no one is forcing you to say it. My children go to public canadian school and can say whatever they want when it comes to Christmas.

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