'O Canada' Gets a Gender-Neutral Version

It's not all about the 'sons' anymore
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2016 2:14 PM CDT
'O Canada' Gets a Gender-Neutral Version
A large flag of Canada is held up by fans before Canada and Mexico play a FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match in Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 25, 2016.   (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Robert Stanley Weir worked up an English translation of the French "O Canada" in 1908, and it soon became the Great White North's most popular English version (and, in 1980, the national anthem). It's gone through minor tweaks since its first choruses, but a rather major one was announced Wednesday: The Canadian House of Commons voted to change the third line of the song to make it more gender-neutral, the Atlantic reports. The original line—"True patriot's love in all thy sons command"—has now, by a vote of 225 to 74, been altered to: "True patriot's love in all of us command."

The French version was already gender-neutral, and many conservatives didn't want to "rush" the decision until all Canadians weighed in on the neglected daughters, CTV News notes. But MP Mauril Belanger, the MP who presented the bill to swap the lyrics, is dying from Lou Gehrig's disease, and Canadian law requires the person who penned the bill to appear at its final vote, so Belanger made his way to Wednesday's session (and a round of applause from the other MPS), and the bill was pushed through. Next up: the Senate, where the bill is expected to be approved, the CBC reports. (Read more Canada stories.)

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