13 March 20231 minute read

Words have power: British Columbia moves to remove gendered and binary language

The British Columbia government has introduced legislation to remove 2300 references to gendered and binary language from 210 pieces of provincial legislation and 21 Ministries. This continues the Government’s work to remove such references from provincial regulations which has been on-going since 2020.

If the legislation becomes law, gendered or binary references (e.g. “he/she”) will be replaced by gender-neutral alternatives. Words such as “chairman” or “workmen” will be replaced by alternatives such as “chair” or “worker”.

According to the Government Press Release, British Columbia is the first Canadian province to make such changes, the purpose of which are to better reflect “the diversity of the province” so that British Columbians “can see themselves in legislation”, supporting access to provincial services and programs regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race or cultural beliefs.

For further information, please contact any of the member of the DLA Piper Canadian Employment and Labour Law Service Group listed here.