Dying MP's gender-neutral O Canada bill passes final Commons vote
Bill now goes to the Senate where it has support - but may not pass before summer break
Dying Liberal MP Mauril Belanger's private member's bill to make the national anthem more gender neutral cleared its final hurdle in the House of Commons today, passing by a vote of 225 to 74.
Bill C-210, which would change the second line of the anthem from "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command," will now go to the Senate. Bélanger was in the House for the vote.
After the vote nearly all MPs in the House stood and sang the national anthem.
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The anthem change has been a Bélanger cause for years but has taken on far greater urgency in recent months after he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and his condition rapidly deteriorated.
The outcome of today's vote appeared to be a foregone conclusion early on as most Liberals and New Democrats supported the measure going into the vote, while the Conservatives, who oppose the bill, have run out of political tactics to slow it.
But the bill will still need to clear the Senate before it becomes law.
Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth, the bill's sponsor in the Upper Chamber, told CBC News she believes the legislation has enough support to pass but it's unclear whether that can happen before the Senate rises for the summer.
with files from Janyce McGregor, Peter Zimonjic