Senate votes to approve gender neutral wording for Canada's national anthem

OTTAWA -- The Senate has passed a bill to make the national anthem more gender neutral, fulfilling the dying wish of Liberal MP Mauril Belanger.

The Senate has given its final approval to the legislation, which would change the second line of the anthem from "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command."

The legislation now only requires formal royal assent before it becomes law.

Belanger pushed the legislation for years, but it took on far greater urgency after he was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, following the 2015 federal election.

The Commons passed the bill June 2016, with the ailing Belanger in the House.

The longtime Liberal died just over two months later.

The bill stalled in the Senate as Conservatives fought its passage, but that opposition finally backed off.

The final Senate approval came on a voice vote Wednesday after a pair of procedural votes.