Change to gender-neutral ‘O Canada’ lyrics inches closer

Click to play video: 'How would gender-neutral lyrics in ‘O Canada’ debated at the House look like?'
How would gender-neutral lyrics in ‘O Canada’ debated at the House look like?
WATCH: How would gender-neutral lyrics change 'O Canada'? – Jun 1, 2016

OTTAWA – The House of Commons is one step closer to adopting a dying Liberal MP’s private member’s bill to render the words to ‘O Canada’ more gender-neutral.

READ MORE: Should ‘O Canada’ lyrics be gender-neutral? Other countries have tweaked their anthem in the past

Mauril Belanger – who has an incurable, fatal, neurodegenerative disease known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease – was watching from his seat as third-reading debate ended with a voice vote loudly in favour of his bill.

The measure awaits a formal vote on Wednesday to pass the Commons and move to the Senate.

The Conservatives, who oppose the legislation, have used a number of procedural tactics to slow its passage, but have run out of ways to delay it.

READ MORE: Tories block bid to ensure dying MP sees gender neutral ‘O Canada’ bill passed

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With the Liberals and New Democrats both in favour, the bill is now assured of passage – although it remains an open question whether Belanger will live to see it happen.

The bill would change the second line of ‘O Canada’ – “true patriot love, in all thy sons command” – to “in all of us command.”

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