Newspaper article The Canadian Press

MPs Sing New Version of O Canada as Gender-Neutral Anthem Lyrics Become Official

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

MPs Sing New Version of O Canada as Gender-Neutral Anthem Lyrics Become Official

Article excerpt

Gender-neutral O Canada lyrics are official

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OTTAWA - Members of Parliament broke into applause Wednesday after singing the new, gender-neutral lyrics to O Canada in the House of Commons, just hours after the change became law.

The new wording became official earlier in the day, capping off a years-long effort to make the anthem more inclusive that was spearheaded by late Liberal MP Mauril Belanger.

It changes the second line of the anthem's English version to "in all of us command" from "in all thy sons command."

Belanger died two years ago after being diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

His widow, Catherine Belanger, was present in the Commons on Wednesday and said that while the road has been long she is overjoyed her husband's dying wish has been fulfilled.

"I'm sure that Mauril is smiling down at us," she said. "My granddaughters and I are on Cloud 9."

Canadian athletes in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the Winter Olympics sang the new version while raising the flag Wednesday morning, said Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly. …

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