Canada has made its national anthem gender-neutral
Canada has made its national anthem gender-neutral – at the twelfth attempt.
Instead of “True patriot love in all thy sons command,” the line in O Canada will now read: “True patriot love in all of us command”.
Introduced by the late Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger, the bill to reform O Canada passed the final House of Commons vote in June by an overwhelming margin of 225 to 74.
Bélanger, who had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), was present for the Commons final vote, but has since died.
Conservative politicians initially delayed the bill from becoming law, but could not hold back the tide of progress any longer.
At the time of the final vote, Conservatives were not in the chamber, having left to boycott the motion which called for a vote.
As a result, the bill passed with a near-unanimous voice vote.
After 18 months of parliamentary debate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the bill’s transition into law.
“Mauril’s bill to make O Canada gender neutral passed third reading in the Senate tonight – another positive step towards gender equality,” he wrote, adding the hashtag #inallofuscommand.
Ontario Senator Frances Lankin, who sponsored the bill, said she was delighted.
“I’m very, very happy,” she told CBC.
“There’s been 30 years plus of activity trying to make our national anthem, this important thing about our country, inclusive of all of us.
“This may be small, it’s about two words, but it’s huge… we can now sing it with pride knowing the law will support us in terms of the language.
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“I’m proud to be part of the group that made this happen.”
Quebec Senator Chantal Petitclerc, a former Paralympian, was “jealous” of athletes at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games who will be able to sing the altered anthem.
Petitclerc, who won 14 gold medals in wheelchair racing events, said: “I had the privilege to be on the podium many times and I never had the chance to sing ‘In all of us command.’
“I can only imagine what they’ll feel when they’re on the step of that podium… it’s an amazing moment.”