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The O Canada lyrics will stay the same, for now.
Conservative senators succeeded in delaying the vote to change the lyrics in the Canadian anthem, at least until after Canada’s 150 birthday.
A bill now before the Senate, initiated by the late Ottawa Vanier MP Mauril Bélanger, would change O Canada’s “in all thy sons command” to the gender-neutral “in all of us command.” The House of Commons passed the bill last June. Bélanger died in August.
Senators who disagree with the private member’s bill are not only moving amendments to the bill that have no hope of being approved, but are also moving sub-amendments and calling adjournment votes to delay proceedings, all but ensuring no vote on the actual bill will be held before Canada’s 150th anniversary.
The latest procedural antics, through which some senators have made transparent their hopes to delay as much as possible a bill they don’t like, come as lawmakers were trying to wrap up business before heading home for the summer.
Last week, Conservative Sen. Tobias Enverga moved an amendment to instead change the words in question to “in all of our command,” on the dubious basis that this wording was grammatically superior to Bélanger’s, and that the word “us” is divisive.
Any amendments brought forward could essentially kill the legislation, the bill’s independent sponsor Sen. Frances Lankin had previously explained — to another Conservative senator, Don Plett, when he moved his own amendment the week before — because they would require a unanimous vote in the House of Commons on a new sponsor.