In one of her only acts as a politician, interim city councillor Ceta Ramkhalawansingh wants to make history.
At Monday’s council meeting, Ramkhalawansingh will introduce a motion to request the federal government change the English words of Canada’s national anthem to be more gender inclusive.
If successful, singers of “O Canada” will eventually proclaim “true patriot love in all of us command” instead of “true patriot love in all thy sons command.”
“It’s about inclusion, and you’re really changing two words,” Ramkhalawansingh said.
Changing the national anthem requires an act of Parliament, not city council. But Ramkhalawansingh wants to push her colleagues in that direction.
“It’s my last city council meeting and I’m a feminist,” she said. “If you go back and look at the city’s history you will see the City of Toronto has provided leadership on many gender equality issues.”
The recommended word changes are based on the national “Sing all of us” campaign, founded by former prime minister Kim Campbell, author Margaret Atwood, Senator Nancy Ruth, former University of Toronto chancellor Vivienne Poy and educator Sally Goddard.