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

SLIDESHOW: The Fraser Valley Auto Mall food drive and convoy

Convoy heads down South Fraser Way, delivers food and money to the Archway Food Bank of Abbotsford

Sweeney Singers host annual Christmas concert in Abbotsford

Event takes place Saturday, Dec. 21 at St. James Church

Four vehicle accident causing southbound gridlock on Highway 11

Accident occurred around 12:30 p.m. at intersection with Valley Road, ambulance on scene

VIDEO: Canada’s only mobile shower trailer for homeless run by Abbotsford Mennonites

Refresh Mobile Showers started operations on May 1, provided over 550 showers

Got that festive feeling? Here are some things to do in Abbotsford

Plenty of holiday fun still left leading up to Christmas

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Most Read