Province removes 750 more instances of gendered language from regulations

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The provincial government says it has removed another 750 instances of gendered language from regulations across 16 ministries. 

“This is the most ever removed in one year and will help to make government regulations more inclusive,” reads a media release by the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.

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,” according to the ministry.

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 For example, removing the outdated term “substance abuse” and replacing it with “substance use.”

“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.”

The Better Regulations for British Columbians is an annual regulatory process that updates information in government regulations. Presenting regulatory changes in a single amendment package every year is an efficient way for ministries to make amendments to clarify, modernize, correct or repeal outdated information.

741 instances of outdated gendered language were removed or updated in 138 regulations in 2022 through the annual Better Regulations for British Columbians process, according to the ministry. The changes took effect March 30.

Over 1,300 instances of outdated gendered language have been removed through this process to date.

The regulatory changes were spread across 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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