“O Canada”, We Stand On Guard For Thee!

img_1418-0Every time I read a news story as idiotic as this one, I wonder how much longer this planet actually has, with such stupid people elected to take care of it.  How anyone can believe in evolution after seeing a politician at work amazes me – they are the poster kids for the devolution of society.

And today, I’m awarding the 2015 Booby Prize for the stupidest town council meeting decision in Canada this year.  Congratulations to 5 (out of 9) town Councillors in Richmond Hill, Ontario, who worked so hard to earned this award.  (Editor’s note: located in Surrey, British Columbia, I want to ensure you don’t think I’m talking about my neighbouring oceanside city of Richmond, BC).

What has Richmond Hill done to so quickly become Canada’s national punch line (and punching bag)?  They not only refused to sing Canada’s national anthem at their meetings, they actually banned it from even being played there.  

Richmond Hill, Ontario Mayor Dave Barrow

Richmond Hill, Ontario Mayor Dave Barrow

This story was cringe-worthy enough on its own merits, as it first broke on the Toronto Sun site the evening of May 12. Having just ditched the idea of reciting The Lord’s Prayer at the start of their Council meetings on April 23 (which had been done for decades, I might add), Ward 1 Councillor Greg Beros then proposed that the national anthem be included at the beginning of Council meetings, as an appropriate replacement:

“We need to pause, we need to remember what an amazing country this is, and how this level of government is allowed to exist because of men and women that fought for this great country,” argued Beros.

Unfortunately, as Councillor Beros was introducing this proposal, Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow and four of his Councillors cronies were planning their own political suicide.  In a 5-to-4 vote, their Council, including their Mayor, voted to nix the anthem proposal. After the stunning vote, Barrow said the issue at hand was “not about Canada’s anthem”.  Isn’t that like breaking up with “John Doe” by saying “it’s not about you” – when everyone (especially “John”) knows it’s exactly about him?

The Council decided that instead of the anthem, they would recite some lame-ass statement about the Council’s roles and responsibilities, written by one of their own.  “We determined that the statement was the most appropriate means to begin a council meeting,” Barrow said (emphasis ours).  “I doubt there’s any council that plays the national anthem.”

To state that the Canadian anthem is no longer appropriate at a Council meeting, and then try to drag all his mayoral colleagues into the same pig pen with him was stupid, and I heard in his words a challenge to prove him wrong that I was happy to accept.

Communities making up the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) - Richmond Hill is represented on the map as

Communities making up the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) – Richmond Hill is represented on the map as “#3” in the dead centre. (Credit: Wikkipedia)

I refuse to be politically correct on this issue. Hey, Mayor McCheese Doodle, any idea what your constituents thought of this jackass idea at the time?  No, because you never bothered to ask them before you embarrassed your city in front of the entire country, did you?

Is your weasly justification for this disaster really going to be “them too” – trying to pull the other Councils in on your stupidity?  Mr. Mayor, people died by the tens of thousands for the freedom you now enjoy to listen to and sing (or reject as you wish) that anthem.  And even if every other city in Canada said “no” to our national anthem, wouldn’t the braver, bolder move still be to stand up and be counted for our country?

Regardless, we did this thing called “fact-checking” (we’ll be happy to send your staff some notes on how to do it later).  If you’re working unsupported in your little Kingdom, let me introduce you to this new-fangled thing called “Google“.  The entire world can be at your finger tips – even what the “other” Councils are doing (I know, crazy, isn’t it?).  Just tell your constituents about this powerful tool, or they will quickly learn that you sir, are full of  s–t.

Toronto City Hall - where you can still hear O Canada. Credit: Canadian Encyclopedia

Toronto City Hall – where you can still hear O Canada. Credit: Canadian Encyclopedia

Richmond Hill is one of the communities that makes up the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). And wouldn’t you know it, Toronto City Council does play the national anthem to open their meetings. In fact, their City Council debated the subject of the national anthem at a January 2015 meeting – not about whether the anthem was appropriate for the venue, but whether the lyrics should be more gender inclusive.  Singing the anthem was a non-issue – and regardless of this tinge of left-wing lunacy, we are still proud to see that the City Council of the largest city in Canada hasn’t outgrown our beloved national anthem.

The City of Oshawa (65 km from Richmond Hill) have started their Council meetings since 2012 with a music video of an “Oshawized” version of O Canada, recorded by the kids at St. John Bosco Catholic School – that’s right, a Catholic school for all you atheists out there.  We note that there’s now a posting (still online May 24, 2015) on the City’s website which states: “Oshawa City Council invites representatives from Oshawa based organizations/schools to sing O Canada at the beginning of Council meetings on a rotational basis.”  Not only are they continuing with the tradition of O Canada, they plan to have it performed live by a different group at each meeting! That’s commitment.

The City of Guelph (99 km from Richmond Hill) posted a similar call on their website on February 22, 2013 (still online May 24, 2015) for interested parties who wish to perform the anthem at their Council meetings, promising that “performances will also appear as part of the Rogers TV live broadcast of City Council meetings“.  A chance for some good-old-fashioned patriotism and 15-minutes of fame!  Don’t you wish you thought of that, Mr. Mayor?

There’s very little “true patriot love” in Richmond Hill, it seems, except from a true leader left to cry out alone in the wilderness – at least for now. “It’s a difficult time for Canada,” Councillor Greg Beros, who proposed the anthem, said that night.  Ward 2 Councillor Tom Muench also expressed his disappointment at the conclusion of the meeting:

“I thought it was going to be a walk in the park. “You’ve got to be kidding me that you can’t play the national anthem. If you can’t agree to that, what can you agree to?”

I should add that Mr. Butt Muench later joined seven colleagues to vote 8 to 1 (Greg Beros being the only opposing vote) for the stupid leadership statement instead of O Canada.  Yes, Mr. Muench, if you can’t agree to O Canada, what can YOU agree to?  How do you sleep at night, defending our anthem one moment, and the next declaring it to be inappropriate and irrelevant to this setting the next?

For now at least, it seems the story is played out – even after several weeks of humiliating press, the Council has not reversed or even revisited its initial decision.  That can only be understood as either the “Paralysis of Analysis”, when one can’t make a decision for or against because of too much information to process;  some kind of mass stupidity that as a unit gives them incredibly bad corporate judgment; or , doesn’t allow them to process when something is a stupid idea – or it could be simply a symbol of their resolve, which makes me even madder if it’s true..

We will revisit this again.  Hopefully when we do, we’ll see evidence of a more conciliatory and tactful Council that recognizes that the issue isn’t actually whether or not they utilize O Canada in a Town Council meeting – it’s the fact that, when they said they wouldn’t use it, it was for reasons that were offensive to Canadians.

You can make fun of me and my writings or what I believe anytime, I don’t care.  However, if you decide that you can treat our national anthem as a throw-away derelict of the past, and don’t give it the honor and respect it deserves, you will find many thousands of Canadians will rise up to shut you down. 

It may seem that Canadians possess only a quiet, personal patriotism, and don’t have a backbone to stand up and defend our nation or it’s symbols (our flag and our anthem) that we love.

Yah, it ONLY SEEMS that way.


By Shawn J., Founding Editor
Calling Out Community
Posted May 24, 2015.  Updated July 1, 2016

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