March 31, 2022
Almost 750 instances of outdated gendered language have been removed or updated in 138 provincial regulations so far in 2022, according to the B.C. government.
Most of the changes involved the words “he”, “she”, “himself” and “herself.” The words “aunt”, “father” and “son” were also removed in some instances.
“Using inclusive language wherever we can doesn’t just remove barriers to services, it also protects people’s rights,” said the parliamentary secretary for gender equity, Grace Lore.
“It’s a way for government to make life a bit easier for the thousands of British Columbians who face unnecessary barriers due to outdated language and to help address gender bias.”
The changes were made under the Better Regulations for British Columbians program that has also been used to change the term “substance abuse” to “substance use” in government rules.
Adrienne Smith, litigation director for the Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre’s All-Genders Legal Clinic, said the changes showed the provincial government was inclusive of trans people.
“These changes help two-spirit, trans and nonbinary people recognize themselves in the law,” Smith said. “My community has spent decades trying to get lawmakers to recognize us in words like ‘parent’ and ‘spouse’. To have government undertake this update to regulations shows that we matter and we have been heard.”