June 10, 2016 3:54 pm
Updated: June 10, 2016 4:07 pm

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

WATCH: How would gender-neutral lyrics change 'O Canada'?

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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

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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

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.”

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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