Canadian House of Commons approves changing 'O Canada'

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jun 17, 2016

On Wednesday, Canadian lawmakers voted in favor to official change the lyrics to the country's National Anthem to be gender neutral. 

The act passed by a 225 to 74 vote margin. The bill passed with near universal support from the nation's Liberal Party and National Democratic Party Members of Parliament, while Conservative MPs were split in their vote. MPs from the party representing French-speaking areas of Canada abstained from the vote, as the lyrical amendment only applied to the county's English version of the anthem.

The line in the song lawmakers are attempting to change is "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command."

The bill was pushed by Ottawa-area representative Mauril Bélanger, who is suffering from ALS. Bélanger, a member of the leading Liberal Party, gave up his hopes of becoming the nation's Speaker following his diagnosis. 

"I, and many others in the House and across the country, believe that this change is fundamental," Randy Boissonnault, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage said. "We reject the assertion that changing this is simple pandering to a political base.

"This is in fact taking it to its original base and making it appropriate for all Canadians. How else am I going to explain to my 12-year-old niece, Skylar, that we in the House on Wednesdays, and Canadians from coast to coast to coast, continue to sing a version of the Canadian anthem that is discriminatory to her gender and to 51% of Canadians?"

Now that the bill has passed the House of Commons, it goes onto the Canadian Senate, where it is expected to pass. 

In case you are wanting to learn the Canadian anthem, here is the current version of 'O Canada.'

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.