News / Edmonton

'Absolutely delighted': Edmonton MPs weigh in on gender-neutral anthem

Senate approved altering O Canada Wednesday by replacing “in all thy sons command” with “in all of us command"

NDP environment critic Linda Duncan speaks during a news conference on the government's failure to initiate a full review of Canada's unconventional oil and gas development in Ottawa, Tuesday August 24, 2010.

Adrian Wyld

NDP environment critic Linda Duncan speaks during a news conference on the government's failure to initiate a full review of Canada's unconventional oil and gas development in Ottawa, Tuesday August 24, 2010.

A lyrical revision that made Canada’s national anthem gender neutral won’t change a thing for one Edmonton member of Parliament.

Edmonton Strathcona NDP MP Linda Duncan said she has already been singing the gender-neutral version, even though it did not become official until Wednesday. That’s when the Senate approved altering O Canada by replacing “in all thy sons command” with “in all of us command.”

“This is long overdue. I already sing it gender neutral when I do it,” Duncan said.

“I am absolutely delighted that finally, we are able to sing the anthem and have everybody feel included.”

Liberal MP Mauril Belanger introduced the bill, which passed the House of Commons with a large majority in 2016, the year Belanger passed away.

Edmonton Centre Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault said it’s important that the revised anthem is inclusive for all Canadians.

“How could I tell my niece that we want to sing the anthem with pride and yet it doesn’t include her? And now it does,” he said.

“I think it’s a great day for Canada.”

Others, like Edmonton Riverbend Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux, who voted against the change in the House of Commons, were less enthusiastic.

“I’m a bit of a historian myself, and it’s something I’ve sung since I was a kid, the anthem this way,” Jeneroux said. “I didn’t think that hat was really the priority we needed to focus on.”

Edmonton West Conservative MP Kelly McCauley said a majority of constituents he’s heard from were opposed to changing the words.

“Most of my constituents have bigger issues to worry about, and we hope the government will turn its focus to legislation that reduces the tax burden on Canadians and gets Albertans back to work,” he said in an e-mail.

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