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Equality

Canada’s National Anthem Is Now Gender-Neutral

If you needed another reason to love Canada, look no further.

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On Wednesday, January 31, the Canadian Senate voted to amend the language in ‘O Canada’, the country’s national anthem, to reflect gender-neutral lyrics. Although highly criticized by the Conservative Party, the bill passed its third reading. While bills encouraging gender neutrality have been pushed by various lawmakers in Canada since 1980, this is the first successful attempt to make the anthem gender-neutral.

The law will change the language of the anthem from “in thy all sons command” to “in all of us command.”

In 2016, the House of Commons voted to approve gender-neutral lyrics for the anthem. The original author of the bill, Mauril Belanger, passed away two months later.

Canada is no stranger to gender equality, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has identified gender equality as one of the key goals of his administration. His cabinet gained global attention in 2015 when he appointed an equal number of men and women to advise him in key areas of the policymaking processes.

In an op-ed for Marie Claire, Trudeau wrote, “All of us benefit when women and girls have the same opportunities as men and boys—and it’s on all of us to make that a reality.”

Each day is a new opportunity to progress opportunities for inclusion for people across all sides of the gender spectrum, and Canada continues to lead the way.

Julia is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Riverside, studying Public Policy with an emphasis in Social and Cultural Policy. While she’s currently on a gap year to help with Hurricane Harvey relief, Julia is a 5x author, a contributor for the Los Angeles Times, and frequent visitor of Disneyland. You can contact her at juliaschemmer@gmail.com.

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