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B.C. removes 750 instances of gendered language from government regulations


British Columbia is scraping through its government regulations to remove gendered language.

It announced it is removing almost 750 instances across 16 ministries – the most it has ever removed in one year in a move to make government regulations more inclusive, it said.

“Using inclusive language wherever we can doesn’t just remove barriers to services, it also protects people’s rights,” said Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “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for government to make life a bit easier for the thousands of British Columbians who face unnecessary barriers due to outdated language and to help address gender bias.”

About 90 per cent of the amendments address binary language such as “he,” “she,” “himself” or “herself,” and the remaining 10 per cent amend gender-specific terms like “aunt,” “father” or “son.” Thirty-three regulations will also be updated through amendments unrelated to gendered language. For example, removing the outdated term “substance abuse” and replacing it with “substance use.”

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“Inclusive language matters, and by reframing language, we’re helping people from all walks of life feel included and supporting more British Columbians to reach their full potential,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “As outlined in our StrongerBC Economic Plan, B.C.’s competitive advantage is its people. That’s why we’re committed to making sure the words we use better reflect the diversity and people of our province.”

Quick facts

  • 741 instances of outdated gendered language have been removed or updated in 138 regulations in 2022 through the annual Better Regulations for British Columbians process. The changes will take effect March 30, 2022.
  • More than 1,300 instances of outdated gendered language have been removed through this process to date.
  • The 2022 package includes regulatory changes from the following ministries: Agriculture, Food and Fisheries; Attorney General; Citizens’ Services; Education; Energy, Mines and Low-Carbon Innovation; Environment and Climate Change Strategy; Finance; Forests, Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development; Health; Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation; Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Labour; Children and Family Development; Municipal Affairs; Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport; Public Safety and Solicitor General; and Transportation and Infrastructure.

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