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What Do You Think- Should A Portion Of “O Canada” Been In French?

vias CJAD,

The National Hockey League has been given a polite dressing-down for its English-only anthem during last February’s Heritage Classic, played in Calgary.

Access to information documents obtained by La Presse show that Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser wrote to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in April. Fraser told Bettman that while the NHL cannot be forced to feature O Canada in both official languages at games played here, to do so would show respect for all hockey fans.

In the Heritage Classic, the Canadiens lost to Calgary 4 - 0.

To answer the question, I say yes, especailly with Montreal involved.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: heritage+classic

Comments

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The decision on whether or not the national anthem is sung in english or french should be left to each team. In fact the teams should be able to decide IF they want to play the anthems at all. The issue over english vs french is a Canadian issue that should be resolved by Canadians, not the league. Each team has a policy on how it handles the anthem. In Montreal it is French first then English, in Toronto and Ottawa it is English then French, and in western Canada it is only english. This is for them to decide not the league.

Posted by timbits on 09/13/11 at 11:38 AM ET

WingMan's avatar

Totally agree that it should be up to each team, and should even go to a game-by-game basis.

Posted by WingMan from The Q C on 09/13/11 at 11:45 AM ET

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The issue over english vs french is a Canadian issue that should be resolved by Canadians, not the league.

Which probably explains why Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser wrote to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in April about it.

Posted by Garth on 09/13/11 at 11:46 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Agree that it should be up to each team.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 09/13/11 at 11:57 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Also, the mayor of Vancouver would like the Canucks to pay for licensing rights to use ‘O Canada’ in their arena.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/13/11 at 12:18 PM ET

Matt Fry's avatar

I would say no.  Graham Fraser is just a commissar of Canadian language laws.  Personally, I think if an event wants to do it in all English or all French, or a mix of both, it should be up to them to decide, not the government. 

Considering our language Commissioner is sending discrete people into Ottawa to see how many small businesses are conducting business in French AND English, this is not surprising at all.  Idiotic but not surprising.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 09/13/11 at 12:19 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Considering our language Commissioner is sending discrete people into Ottawa to see how many small businesses are conducting business in French AND English, this is not surprising at all.

Please tell me they’re being referred to as “Coq spies”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/13/11 at 12:23 PM ET

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Considering that the national anthem was originally written in French, I think it is only appropriate for the anthem to be sung in both languages. However, I see no need for the federal government to determine what versions of songs private institutions use to entertain the public.  In cases where the federal government is sponsoring the event, they should have final say.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 09/13/11 at 12:29 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Agree with all on team by team call. 

For those that disagree they should be forced to hear Carl Lewis sing either anthem at every game henceforth.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 09/13/11 at 12:33 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Personally, I think it’s cool when the singer does the first verse in English and then sings the second verse in French. It’s not like I don’t know what he’s singing when it’s in French since I know all the words to the song. I just think it’s a nice touch. O Canada is a cool anthem, too. I’ve always liked it.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 09/13/11 at 12:58 PM ET

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Definitely up to the team, but for a special event featuring the Canadiens, I can see where you’d want it both ways.  But only for an event like this and only if the Canadiens play in it and only if the NHL picks up the tab to fly a bilingual singer out there.

I’d be upset, though, if I were a Calgary fan at a Calgary home game and had to listen to the Canadiens’ singer, though.  So it’s understandable why the team didn’t go that way.

Posted by jkm2011 on 09/13/11 at 03:06 PM ET

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I also don’t have a problem if they sing the whole song in French when they play in Montreal and Ottawa. If you’ve been following the NHL for any amount of time and you don’t know the words by now, you can just hum along.

PS
I also agree it is a great anthem.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 09/13/11 at 03:40 PM ET

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Commissioner of Languages is a job? Sounds lucrative, easy and pointless.

Posted by steviesteve on 09/13/11 at 04:00 PM ET

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Commissioner of Languages is a job? Sounds lucrative, easy and pointless.

What do you mean? His job is twice as hard as the Commissioner of Language in monolingual countries.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 09/13/11 at 04:44 PM ET

Avatar

Touche

Posted by steviesteve on 09/13/11 at 05:11 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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