Canadian conservatives refused to sing gender-neutral version of the anthem

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau works the crowd during Toronto's Pride Parade on Sunday, June 28, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

A bill to make Canada’s national anthem gender-neutral has failed even though the PM Justin Trudeau and MPs from both parties were in favour of it.The move would have scrapped the line “True patriot love in all thy sons command,” replacing it with “True patriot love in all of us command”. Introduced by the late Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger, the bill to reform O Canada passed the final House of Commons vote in June by an overwhelming margin of 225 to 74. Despite the bill easily passing the Commons, Conservative Senators have blocked it from becoming law for a year so it is now delayed at least till autumn. Conservative Senator David Wells has told CBC News: “I’m trying to protect the tradition rather than, you know, water it down with a politically correct version that is historically inaccurate. I don’t misrepresent why I’m [using parliamentary stall tactics] … I don’t like this bill, and I will do what I can to ensure it doesn’t pass.” This is despite historians agreeing that the original line was “thou dost in us command” in English version and as for the French one, it has no references to ‘sons’ or ‘daughters’ from the very beginning.


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