Bat­tle over an­them con­tin­ues

Yet another amend­ment put for­ward for change in

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Ottawa - Ryan tu­milty

“Us” ver­sus “our” is a dis­tinc­tion worth bat­tling over in Canada’s Se­nate this week as yet another amend­ment comes for­ward that could scut­tle the move to make Canada’s na­tional an­them gen­der-neu­tral.

Be­fore his death, for­mer Ottawa-vanier MP Mau­ril Bélanger spon­sored a bill, which passed the House al­most a year ago, to change the line “in all thy sons com­mand” to a more in­clu­sive “in all of us com­mand.”

Ear­lier this month, the Se­nate voted down an amend­ment from Con­ser­va­tive Sen. Don Plett propos­ing an ad­di­tional tweak to change the lyrics to “thou dost in us com­mand.”

The tin­ker­ing has con­tin­ued, how­ever, with a new amend­ment from Con­ser­va­tive Sen. To­bias C. En­verga to change “all of us com­mand” with “all of our com­mand”.

En­verga ar­gued in the Se­nate last week that “us” is a gram­mat­i­cally in­cor­rect pro­noun with which to re­place “thy sons.”

This led to a de­bate in the red cham­ber that in­cluded one sen­a­tor cit­ing an email from a high school Eng­lish teacher who had been teach­ing her class about the is­sue.

Sen. Frances Lankin said all of these amend­ments and changes have just been an at­tempt to kill the changes some sen­a­tors don’t want to see.

“As we are even closer to the end of the ses­sion, this is just an un­ten­able stalling tac­tics,” she said.

The amend­ments the sen­a­tors have of­fered could cre­ate a sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem if they were to pass. If the bill goes back to the House of Com­mons changed, it would need a new spon­sor since Bélanger has passed away.

Pro­ce­dure re­quires that hap­pen with unan­i­mous con­sent, which is un­likely be­cause many MPS voted against the orig­i­nal bill. En­verga said in a state­ment sent to Metro he’s sim­ply try­ing to write the best bill pos­si­ble.

“It’s im­por­tant to make sure, as re­spon­si­ble par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, that we take the time and com­plete our due dili­gence be­fore pass­ing this — or any bill — into law.”

Lankin said she be­lieves En­verga’s amend­ment will fail when a vote takes place Mon­day. She said whether the bill fi­nally passes the Se­nate will come down to ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween par­ties this week.

“There are a num­ber of pri­vate mem­bers’ bills that peo­ple are hop­ing will get voted on and at some point the lead­ers are go­ing to have to talk about what they agree to get done.”

this is just un­ten­able stalling


sen. Frances Lankin

The Cana­dian press

Late MP Mau­ril Bélanger re­ceives ap­plause af­ter us­ing a tablet to de­fend his pro­posed changes to neu­tral­ize gen­der in the lyrics to O, Canada in 2016.

Metro | Ottawa

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