Canada has made its national anthem gender-neutral after a bill to change the lyrics passed the country’s Senate.
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 (pictured), the bill to reform the anthem passed the final House of Commons vote last June by an overwhelming margin of 225 to 74.
Bélanger, who had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, was present for the Commons final vote, but has since died.
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.
Independent Ontario Senator Frances Lankin, who sponsored the bill, told broadcaster CBC: “I’m very, very happy. 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.
“I’m proud to be part of the group that made this happen.”
O Canada actually started out as a gender-neutral song, the second line originally reading: “True patriot love thou dost in us command.”