‘O Canada’ up for debate at Toronto city council next week

Canada is No. 1 in Americans' hearts
A Canadian flag flies in the wind at Granville Island in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

TORONTO – Canada’s national anthem and the issue of gender inclusion will be debated at a Toronto city council meeting next week.

A motion brought forward by councillor Ceta Ramkhalawansingh and seconded by Councillor Pam McConnell will ask council to request the federal government to change ‘O Canada’ to be gender inclusive.

“To further recognize the rights of women to be represented in all aspects of society, women’s organizations and civil rights groups across Canada have endorsed the “Sing All Of Us” campaign which seeks to substitute the words “our sons” with “of us” in “O Canada”,” reads the motion.

READ MORE: Pride in Canada but also gaps in knowledge: poll

There have been nine private member’s bills since 1980 urging the government to urge the anthem change but none have been successful.

Story continues below advertisement

Mayor Rob Ford dismissed the motion while speaking to reporters outside a wall mural unveiling in west-end Toronto on Friday.

“I don’t think this should be debated on the last day of council,” said Ford. “There are more important things to debate.”

Ramkhalawansingh was appointed Ward 5 councillor in July after Adam Vaughan won a federal by-election representing the Liberal Party in the riding of Trinity-Spadina.