‘Contemporary’ updates proposed for dress code at B.C. legislature

The dress code at the British Columbia legislature should be updated to allow women to wear sleeveless tops and dresses, according to a report by the acting clerk.

The proposed changes could also mean that men will no longer have to wear ties. Jackets and collared shirts will still be required.

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Acting clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd’s 14 recommendations that would allow “professional contemporary business attire” for politicians, staff and members of the media come after a backlash in March when legislature staff told some women to cover their arms. Several women donned sleeveless tops in protest.

As a result, Speaker Darryl Plecas ordered a review of the legislature’s 40-year-old dress policy.

Sergeant-at-arms staff will no longer be responsible for enforcing the dress code for those who work in the legislative assembly, and people can determine for themselves if their outfits are appropriate for the Speaker’s corridor.

The recommendations were approved by Plecas.

MLAs must amend the legislature’s standing orders for dress to formalize the new dress code.

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