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.
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.
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.”