In a House of Commons vote on Wednesday, MP’s voted 225-74 to change Canada’s national anthem. Bill C-210, which was proposed by Liberal MP Mauril Belanger, who suffers from ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), changes the second line of the anthem from “true patriot love, in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command”. Bill C-210 does not propose any changes to the French version of the anthem.
While the 1908 English version of Canada’s anthem originally read “thou dost in us command”, the author changed it in 1914 to “in all thy sons command” in honour of the men who were fighting overseas in World War I. Many anthem changes have been proposed over time, but most have failed to this point. A motion by Toronto City Council to change “our home and native land” to “our home and cherished land” in addition to making the anthem gender neutral. Councillor Howard Moscoe claimed that the “native land” phrase was insulting to immigrants, while “sons” implied that women were incapable of feeling patriotism towards Canada. In 2002, Senator Vivienne Poy accused the anthem of being “sexist”. The anthem has also taken heat from secularists who take issue with the line “God keep our land”.
Also proposed by the Conservative government in their 2010 Throne Speech, the idea of a gender neutral anthem was scrapped after overwhelming rejection from Canadians. While polling showed that the change remains unpopular with the public (a CTV Calgary poll on June 1 had 91% of respondents voting against the change), Canada’s notably liberal media exploited Belanger’s disease to guilt Canadians into changing their minds. Buzzfeed Canada ran a headline stating “The Conservatives Just Filibustered A Dying MP’s Bill To Change The National Anthem” after some Conservative MP’s attempted to extend debate on Bill C-210. Ultimately, debate was stifled and the Liberals rammed the bill through Parliament. Bill C-210 will now head to the Senate for approval, where it is expected to pass. In addition to the Liberal, NDP, Bloc Québécois and Green Party caucuses, a few Conservative MP’s including former cabinet ministers Peter Kent and Candice Bergen, voted in favor of Belanger’s bill.
This is yet another case of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau bowing down to social justice warriors rather than the will of the Canadian public. When his party formed government, Trudeau tossed aside merit as a requirement for cabinet postings, instead appointing cabinet based on race and gender quotas. This has led to some major mishaps in the House of Commons due to simple ineptitude of some of Trudeau’s cabinet appointees, most notably Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef.
Trudeau has been very outspoken about his status as a “feminist” since becoming a prominent voice in the Liberal Party, however, the Liberals have never been led by a female leader. The Conservative Party and Green Party are currently led by females. Trudeau’s schtick led to mockery by Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose at the party’s recent convention, where she implied that he must think he’s the first female Prime Minister. The only female Prime Minister in Canada’s history was Conservative Prime Minister Kim Campbell.