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A Canadian fan sings the National Anthem during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

“All of us”

Canada might change its national anthem to recognize women

By WITW Staff on January 28, 2016

The new liberal Canadian government has been brandishing its feminist credentials — to wit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s heartfelt appeal to men to become feminists, having also appointed a cabinet with equal numbers of women and men last November. They’re also trying to bring that change to one of the nation’s most coveted symbols: the national anthem. On Wednesday, Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger introduced a bill which would change just two words in the “O Canada” anthem: the third line would change from “True patriot love in all thy sons command” — to “all of us command”. “With my bill, I want to pay tribute to all the women who have worked and fought to build and shape the Canada that we know today,” Bélanger said in a statement. “I want to at long last honor their sacrifices and contribution.”

Ten previous attempts to change the lyrics of “O Canada,” the country’s official anthem since it replaced God Save The Queen in 1980, have been thwarted by conservatives who called it “grammatically unnecessary” or tried to point out that the majority of Canadian soldiers were male. And if you were wondering if the change will actually pass this time: “Canadian anthem expert” David Kendall believes that it will, thanks to the Liberal Party’s majority in parliament. Only a few people feel passionate for or against a change, he told The Guardian: “But most don’t mind what it says as long as they get to sing it at the hockey.”

In related news, Finance Minister Bill Morneau also commented earlier this month that he “would be strongly supportive of a recommendation from the Bank of Canada to put an iconic woman or women on the banknote.” There are no Canadian women on the current series of polymer bank notes, which are due for re-design in 2019, although the $20 bill features an image of Queen Elizabeth II. The previous series had included images of the Famous Five, who fought for women’s rights in Canada, and Therese Casgrain, a Quebec feminist, but they were all replaced on the $50 note by an image of an Arctic icebreaker.

Read the full story at The Guardian.