Newsletter from MLA/Minister Katrine Conroy
Province recognizes International Women’s Day, takes action on gender equity
On International Women’s Day, we honour the many women, girls, Two-Spirit people, and non-binary people in our province who are so often the cornerstones of our families, neighbourhoods and communities. We are also working to deliver a multi-year action plan to address gender-based violence—because no one can reach their full potential while being abused.
Aligned with International Women’s Day, this New Democratic government has:
- Introduced new housing projects for women fleeing violence
- Legislation to protect against the sharing of intimate images without consent
- Legislation to close BC’s gender wage gap
Legislation will help close B.C.’s gender pay gap
New pay transparency legislation was introduced March 7, 2023, to help close the gender pay gap in B.C. – the next step on the path to pay equity. Once the legislation is passed, as of Nov. 1, 2023, all employers will be required to include wage or salary ranges on all publicly advertised jobs. In addition, as soon as the legislation is in force, B.C. employers will not be able to ask prospective employees for pay history information or punish employees who disclose their pay to co-workers or potential job applicants.
New legislation will help protect against sharing of intimate images without consent
To better protect people from the harmful effects of having their intimate images shared without their consent and improve access to justice for survivors of sexualized violence, the Province is introducing the intimate images protection act. The impacts of having your intimate images shared without consent are wide-ranging and long lasting. Often people remain trapped in abusive relationships due to a partner’s threats to distribute intimate images. If passed, the legislation will create a new, fast-track process for getting a legal decision that streamlines the process for getting images taken off the internet.
Safe, new homes coming for women, children in B.C.
More women and children will have an affordable, safe and secure place to go, as 150 homes are either opening or are under construction in four different locations throughout the province. The Province is committed to ensuring women and children leaving violence have safe places to recover and rebuild their lives. Three of the new women's housing projects will be operated by non-profit providers that specialize in housing and supports for women, including transgender women, Two-Spirit and non-binary people, as well as their dependent children who are experiencing or are at risk of violence.
New legislation will remove outdated gendered language to reduce barriers for people
British Columbia will become the first province in Canada to systematically amend provincial laws to remove outdated gendered and binary language, better reflecting the diversity of the province and ensuring everyone can access provincial programs and services.
This can be seen in both:
- The Vital Statistics Act
- Miscellaneous Statutes (Modernization) Amendment Act
This government is committed to supporting the health and well-being of Two-Spirit, transgender, intersex, non-binary and gender-diverse people and making B.C. a more inclusive province when it comes to gender identity.
Historic investment in food security supports British Columbians
The Province is investing more than $200 million in food security to ensure people have better access to an increased supply of affordable, local food. The funding will be put towards programs and grants that support the end goal of making sure we have affordable, uninterrupted supply of nutritious food grown and processed here in B.C., so we can help people afford their grocery bills, keep our farmers and food manufactures profitable and resilient while making sure no one goes hungry. This announcement, along with the many cost of living initiatives that our government announced in Budget 2023, will help people with the consequences of global inflation.
Watershed strategy co-developed with First Nations, $100 million invested
Government and the B.C. First Nations Water Table announced an unprecedented $100-million investment in healthy watersheds and the launch of engagement on a new co-developed watershed security strategy intentions paper to help ensure safe, clean water is available to communities. Healthy watersheds are not only essential for our individual health and well-being, but they also ensure that ecosystems, economies, and communities throughout B.C. can flourish. This $100-million investment in the Watershed Security Fund builds on last year’s $30-million commitment announced in Budget 2022, and will continue to improve B.C.’s watersheds and build on the success of a previous $27-million investment in the Healthy Watersheds Initiative (HWI) under the StrongerBC economic plan.
My community office is open Monday to Thursday 10-3pm. Please call or email in advance to let Angelika and Sarah know when you are planning to come in so they can be ready in advance to assist you. If you have any questions or concerns about any provincial issue, or need assistance with a provincial body, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help. My office can be reached at 250-304-2783 or Katrine.Conroy.MLA@leg.bc.ca.
MLA Kootenay West