British Columbia

B.C. Legislature clerk proposes updated dress code after bare-arms controversy

The report makes 14 recommendations covering appropriate attire at the legislature for politicians, staff and employees, including members of the media.

Speaker Darryl Plecas ordered review of policy in March

Green MLA Sonia Furstenau (right) posted this picture on Twitter on March 28 after she learned one of her staff members had been told by B.C. Legislature staff to wear a slip under her dress. Other women in the legislature were later told to cover their bare arms. (Sonia Furstenau/Twitter)

A report by the acting clerk of the B.C. Legislature proposes an updated dress code modelled on what is
considered professional and contemporary business attire. 

Kate Ryan-Lloyd's report makes 14 recommendations covering what's appropriate attire at the legislature for politicians, staff and employees, including members of the media.

Speaker Darryl Plecas ordered a review of the legislature's dress policy in March after legislature staff told some women to cover their arms, prompting several female reporters and a New Democrat staff member to wear short sleeves in protest.

Plecas immediately approved preliminary dress guidelines ahead of the review of guidelines, stating business attire for women can include clothing that shows their arms.

Ryan-Lloyd's review says politicians must amend the legislature's standing orders for dress if they approve of her recommendations.

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