Langley MLA Mary Polak (Black Press files)

Married names policy discriminates against women, B.C. MLA says

B.C. government has made change to driver’s licence, services card

If a woman gets married and takes her husband’s last name, that’s free in B.C.

If she wants to keep her family name with either a hyphenated or combined surname as her legal identity, that requires a name change application, with a $137 fee to process the paperwork.

Langley MLA Mary Polak marked the occasion of International Women’s Day with a private member’s bill in the B.C. legislature to remove that obstacle.

“While this does affect men, the impact is disproportionately felt by women, who must either struggle through difficulties with their identity documents or face the expense of a formal name change,” Polak told the legislature Wednesday. “This amendment will mean that those who choose a hyphenated or combined surname will be treated in the same manner as those who adopt the surname of their spouse.”

READ MORE: Fundraiser supports International Women’s Day March 8

A spokesperson for the B.C. health ministry said the province made changes last fall to allow people to update their surnames on a driver’s licence, B.C. Services Card or B.C. ID card without a legal name change and with no additional fee.

“If a person wishes to change their name to a combined surname on citizenship or immigration documents, which is not in the jurisdiction of the province of B.C., they would still have to apply for a legal name change,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Name Amendment Act 2019 received unanimous consent from all MLAs on first reading, but the usual fate of opposition bills is that they go no farther than that. If the governing party wants to make a change, it typically introduces its own legislation.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

Photos: Vanderhoof jives to tunes played by the NVSS jazz band

Funds raised will help the school jazz band to attend a festival in Whistler

Saik’uz resident urges other indigenous students to apply for award

Irving K Barber scholarship deadline is March 31st

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read