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Canadian government backs off plan to alter national anthem

Canadians basked in glory hearing their national anthem played a record 14 times at gold medal ceremonies at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. But they raised an outcry when the Conservative government surprised everyone by announcing it was considering changing a lyric to "O Canada."

Just two days after sparking the furor, the government announced yesterday that it has withdrawn its request to Parliament to consider changing a line in the anthem to make it more gender inclusive.

The government says it will no longer seek to have the lyric "in all thy sons command," adopted under 1980 legislation, replaced with the original 1908 line, "in thou dost us command."

Dimitri Soudas, the spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, says his office has heard clearly from Canadians that they like the anthem as it is.