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

Give a hoot and don’t touch baby birds

SORCO raptor rehab reminds residents to stop before they touch baby bird

Video: South Okanagan’s ‘Pretty Boy’ Hall ends amateur MMA career a champion

Oliver-based mixed-martial arts fighter plans to go pro following his record-setting win on March 17

Four Penticton residents arrested for violent attack on homeless

Four individuals have been arrested for a attack and robbery on two homeless men

Beloved Okanagan-Skaha school district champion dies

Bruce Johnson was a teacher, principal and long-serving school trustee in Penticton

VIDEO: Sunny skies in the forecast makes for a great start to spring

Mostly sunny skies with a chance of rain by Friday evening in the Okanagan Valley

Small landslide closes Vernon road

City crews estimate Okanagan Bench Row Road will reopen at about 2:30 a.m.

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

Kelowna RCMP tackle man in Glenmore area

A witness saw RCMP make an arrest on Valley Road just after 6 p.m.

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Father, former child soldier, seeks better life for family in Shuswap

Salmon Arm volunteers begin fundraising effort to help family resettle in Canada

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Most Read