Gender neutral wording for Canada’s national anthem approved by Senate

The Senate has passed a bill to make the national anthem more gender neutral, fulfilling the dying wish of Liberal MP Mauril Belanger.

The Senate has given its final approval to the legislation, which would change the second line of the anthem from “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.”

The legislation now only requires formal royal assent before it becomes law.

Belanger pushed the legislation for years, but it took on far greater urgency after he was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, following the 2015 federal election.

The Commons passed the bill in June 2016, with the ailing Belanger in the House.The longtime Liberal died just over two months later.

“O Canada” became Canada’s national anthem in 1980, and since then changes to the lyrics have been proposed several times. This is the first time such a proposal has been successful.
Not everyone is thrilled about the change.
The bill passed Canada’s House of Commons in 2016, but spent 18 months under debate in the Senate, where it faced opposition from some members of the Conservative Party. After it passed, some criticized the vote.

“Shameful, anti-democratic behavior by #Trudeau-appointed senators, including #SenCA Speaker, as they shut down legitimate debate in Chamber,” tweeted Conservative Sen. Denise Batters.