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

Penticton runners take some top spots in Peach City RunFest

Both the top male and female half-marathon winners were from Penticton

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

Former Greyhound employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

Drivers, depot agents and dispatchers from Western Canada gathered in Penticton to say goodbye.

Comedy of romance and crosswords to hit the stage in Penticton

Performances take place from May 22 to 26 at the Cannery Theatre

Proposal put forward to turn old Penticton coffee shop into pharmacy

Application for rezoning will go before Penticton city council this week

Weather holds up for Rutland May Days

60th annual May Day midway, market and entertainment saw hundreds of attendees

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Okanagan Springtime Regatta draws more than 50 sailboats

Sailors treated to windy, excellent long weekend conditions on Okanagan Lake in Kelowna

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Okanagan tattoo fundraiser draws tons of support

Lineup around the block in Vernon for start of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Most Read