The Canadian parliament is close to adopting a bill that would change the national anthem – O Canada – to make it gender-neutral.

The bill, affecting only the English-language lyrics, would change “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.”

The initiative, strongly backed by the new Liberal government, overwhelmingly passed two readings this week in the House of Commons, was sent to a heritage committee then went back to the Commons for a third reading. If it passes, as expected, it would then go to the Senate and could be adopted officially this summer, or, more likely, in the fall.

After passing the second reading this week by a wide margin, 219-79, MPs on both sides of the House burst into an impromptu singing of O Canada.

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