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Canada’s Gender Neutral Anthem

February 8th, 2018

Photo provided by UBC

Photo provided by UBC

The Senate has approved legislation moving for the anthem to become gender-neutral

On January 31, the Senate passed a bill which will change the lyrics of the National Anthem. Instead of “in all thy sons command,” the lyric will be changed to “in all of us command.” This bill will require formal royal assent by the Governor General before it becomes a law, but it has finally passed in the Senate. This issue has been brought to the Senate many times over the years, however, it had never passed. Indeed, the wording of the national anthem has been under scrutiny since 1980, the year it was formally adopted as the national anthem.

It was in 2016 when Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger introduced the bill to change the anthem. Bélanger was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and passed away in 2016, unable to see his bill pass the Senate.

 

“the wording of the national anthem has been under scrutiny since 1980, the year it was formally adopted as the national anthem.”

 

This bill has been widely celebrated by the Liberal members of the government. PM Justin Trudeau tweeted out in support of the passing of the bill, calling it “another positive step towards gender equality. #inallofuscommand” Conversely, the bill has met opposition by some Conservative members of the government, and there has been backlash from a portion of the public following the passing of the bill. However, the anthem originally had been gender neutral. David Akin pointed out on Twitter that “The original lyric to the 1908 version of “O Canada” was “Thou dost in us command.” Was changed to “All Thy Sons” in 1914. So for you traditionalists, Robert Stanley Weir’s original lyric was, in fact, gender-neutral.”

After over thirty years and oven ten failed attempts to change the wording, Canada’s National Anthem once again will be gender neutral.

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