In 2016 Bill C-210, “An act to amend the National Anthem Act (Gender) passed by majority in the Canadian House of Commons.Few Canadians noticed, it wasn’t front page news or subject of editorial debate. Until yesterday this Canadian hadn’t heard the name Mauril Belanger – Ottawa MP, author of and driving force behind C-210, a man stricken with ALS who lived long enough to witness first passing of legislation to make our national anthem gender neutral.
The far right is curious not complicated. Beneath the frosting of abortion rights and same sex marriage, gelatinous layers of gender neutral scorn burble righteous contempt for equality. Lest we underestimate conservative outrage, indignant gender neutral anthem opposition prevailed for 18 months. Enter Independent Ontario Senator Frances Lankin, no nonsense supporter of Belanger’s Bill who took charge of archaic nonsense on January 30. Lankin tabled a motion to shut down debate, effectively forcing a Senate vote on C-210. The senate speaker accepted and set time for voting January 31. Well played Frances – Senate voted in favour of a gender neutral national anthem. All that stands in the way of replacing “in all thy sons command” with “in all of us command” is formality of royal assent.
Oh Canada, you tickle my toes. Last week government refused summer student employment grant money to anti-abortion, anti-gay organizations. Effective immediately applicants must tick a box asserting the organization asking for funding to help hire summer students does not have a core mandate or job descriptions that conflicts with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or with other fundamental rights enjoyed by Canadians.Before conservative dust bunnies had a chance to settle, along comes gender neutral amendment to our national anthem.
Kudos Canada, you make me proud.