moved for leave to introduce Bill C-626, An Act to amend the National Anthem Act (gender neutral).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise again in the House to present this bill. It is actually a very simple bill, but I know it would probably generate a fair amount of debate. It has to do with our national anthem, O Canada. It was a bill that was formerly presented by my colleague, Judy Wasylycia-Leis. I know she felt very strongly about this.
It is basically a bill that would substitute the words “of us” for the words “thy sons” in the English version of the national anthem, thus making it gender neutral.
I was going to sing the new version, but my colleagues talked me out of putting people through that pain. I think people are very familiar with going to public events and actually hearing a growing number of people voluntarily substituting gender neutral language in our national anthem.
I know some people do not agree with that. They say that it should stay the way it was written, so I think we will probably have quite an interesting debate on this. Nevertheless, I put it forward because I think it is important that our language be gender neutral.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)