John Harding is the editor of The Parksville Qualicum Beach News. E-mail: editor@pqbnews.com.

Enough already, Yankees

How long must we take this disrespectful attitude toward our anthem and flag?

OK Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we get that you’re the kindler, gentler version of what has occupied your office in the past decade or so.

Still, we have to talk. And you might have to put on those boxing gloves, because we’re kinda ticked off.

If one more American goofs up our national anthem or messes with our flag during a sporting event, we oughtta start marching. Maybe burn the White House down, like we did 250 years ago when we were still British and had the help of brave First Nations people.

The latest insult was delivered last week from a group that used to be called the Canadian Tenors, and has a member from Vancouver Island (Clifton Murray from Port McNeill). You see, this group used to be exclusively Canadian.

They allowed American Remigio Pereira into the fold. They are now re-thinking that plan.

At the Major League baseball All-Star game, Pereira took it upon himself to change the lyrics of O Canada to include some message. He added an All Lives Matter verse. Yes, Remigio, all lives do matter. So does our anthem.

It’s only the latest in a string of disrespectful displays by Yankees toward Canadians during sporting events. And yes, you’re all Yankees to us. If you live in the Southern U.S. and don’t like that, tough, you lost your Civil War.

It was 1992 and the Toronto Blue Jays were in Atlanta to play the Braves in the World Series. Ted Turner and Jane Fonda were in front-row seats, cheering on the home team. The Braves did the right thing and asked a Canadian to sing the anthem, Tom Cochrane, who actually flubbed the words a bit, but that’s OK, he’s Canadian so he’s allowed. All looked good until everyone noticed the colour guard was flying the Canadian flag upside down.

Seriously? It’s a leaf. What could be so difficult about ascertaining which way is up? Thanks for that.

Two years later a cheesy lounge singer opens a CFL game in Las Vegas with a rendition of O Canada that was sung to the tune of O Christmas Tree. Really dude?

The list of insults is much longer than the space we have available here.

We are not impressed. We demand action, perhaps sanctions. We will recall our hockey players and comedians until we get assurances this disrespect will cease.

Thanks for getting right on this, Mr. Prime Minister.

— John Harding is the editor of The Parksville Qualicum Beach News. E-mail: editor@pqbnews.com.

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