Every time I hear this song I grow more certain that we made a terrible mistake.
I haven't heard this one for a long time, especially with 300 cats being strangled to a beat. I kind of prefer the French version of O Canada because there's only a vague reference to the bearded buddy in the sky. I interpret "il sait porter la croix', as a nod to peace keeping because the cross could be a reference to peace == I know that's stretching it a bit but I prefer it that way. I might add that the French version is totally gender neutral. (The gender stuff is grammatical and not gender specific)
Maple Leaf Forever is a nice enough tune, though the original lyrics do not appeal to much to the francophone world. MLF for better or worse has always been associated with King and Empire and the Union Jack. The original lyrics for O'Canada are equally sucky-schmaltzy, especially in French. I have solved the problem for myself by unlearning the words for both these tunes.