Toronto councillor wants 'thy sons' taken out of O Canada

A Toronto city councillor wants the words of O Canada altered to be more gender neutral.

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh will put forward motion at Monday's council meeting

'We should all be represented in' the national anthem, says Toronto city councillor who wants lyrics changed. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

A Toronto city councillor wants the words of Canada's national anthem changed to include more gender-neutral language.

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, who was appointed to fill Adam Vaughan's council seat after he won a federal byelection in June, will put forward a motion at Monday's council meeting.

"The national anthem is an important symbol in Canada," Ramkhalawansingh said Friday. "We should all be represented in it. It's a very small change."

Instead of "all thy sons command" Ramkhalawansingh wants the lyrics changed to "in all of us command." Her motion is an endorsement of the "Sing All of Us" campaign, which aims to get the lyrics changed and boasts author Margaret Atwood among its supporters.

Ramkhalawansingh's motion will be part of a crowded agenda on the last full Toronto council meeting before the Oct. 27 municipal election.

Some at city hall, including Mayor Rob Ford, are questioning whether her motion should come before council at all, because it's a federal matter and the city has no power to change the anthem.

The motion requires a two-thirds majority to pass.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?