Read the words used by Mauril Bélanger, MP as he introduced Bill C-624 in the House of Commons on September 22nd, 2014:
“Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to table a bill entitled “An act to amend the National Anthem Act”. It is seconded by my colleague from St. Paul’s.
The bill proposes a simple change in the English version only, two words to be precise: “True patriot love” and “all thy sons command” to become “true patriot love in all of us command”.
In due course, I will present the arguments which I hope will convince a majority of my colleagues to support the bill. I also hope the exchange and debate will be respectful and beyond partisanship.
I attended the Famous 5 luncheon today, where the first and thus far only female prime minister, the Right Hon. Kim Campbell, was the guest speaker, and she was a terrific speaker. At the end of her speech, she welcomed this initiative to make our national anthem gender inclusive.
I look forward to engaging with my colleagues as we address this important matter.”
In 2013 the founders decided it was time to urge Canadians to return to singing a gender-inclusive English anthem. It had been 100 years since the words were changed to refer to “sons”.
The first phase of the campaign concentrated on building awareness and spreading the message that it was time to change. The message was spread from sea to sea to sea through over 1200 media organizations from all over the world under the theme, “restore our anthem”.
In this next phase of the campaign we simply aim to make it fun and easy for all Canadians to sing “all of us”.
The words of the English anthem have been changed at least five times since they were first written in 1908. O Canada is in the public domain. They are our words. The lyrics can be changed again to reflect today’s Canada.