09/23/2014 12:44 EDT | Updated 09/23/2014 12:59 EDT

Make 'O Canada' Gender Neutral? Change Is Headed For A Vote


OTTAWA — A Conservative MP says "O Canada" doesn’t need to be amended in order to be gender neutral.

Edmonton MP Peter Goldring was reacting to a proposed bill that would change the words of the national anthem from: “O Canada, our home and native land, True patriot love, In all thy sons command” to “In all of us command.”

The word change is a suggestion from Liberal Ottawa MP Mauril Bélanger, who told The Ottawa Citizen he considers it “gender-inclusive”.

But Goldring says the change is grammatically unnecessary.

“‘O Canada’ is already gender neutral. We can check the dictionary or recall our historical precedents to see there is no need to make changes out of some sense of political correctness,” he said in a press release.

“The current anthem wording is politically correct and is gender neutral.”

Bélanger, however, told the Citizen he feels his proposed changes are “representative of the evolution of our society.”

He told The Chronicle Herald that former prime minister Kim Campbell supports his plan.

Campbell is part of a prominent group of women, including author Margaret Atwood, who have push for changes to the lyrics.

Bélanger told the Citizen he expects a vote on his bill in early 2015.

Four years ago, immediately after the strong showing of Canada’s women at the Vancouver Olympics, Prime Minister Stephen Harper used the speech from the throne to promise changed to the anthem's lyrics. Public outcry led the government to abandon its plans soon after.

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