Right to left, Bhinder Sajan, Shannon Waters, Liza Yuzda, Justine Hunter, Jen Holmwood, Katie DeRosa, Tanya Fletcher and Kylie Stanton pose for a photo at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on Thursday, March 28, 2019. A dress code debate at British Columbia’s legislature has prompted some women staff and journalists to roll up their sleeves in protest. (Dirk Meissner/The Canadian Press)

South Surrey MLAs weigh in on ‘bare arms’ dress code violations

Women at B.C. Legislature told to cover up bare arms

Two MLAs representing South Surrey weighed in on the ongoing debate at the B.C. Legislature after several women were told to cover up their bare arms.

Several New Democrat staff say they’ve been told by the sergeant-at-arms staff that it’s against the rules to wear short-sleeved attire in the legislature.

Following the request to cover up, legislature journalists and politicians have posted photos of themselves showing their bare arms in protest.

“Can we please get on to more important things like whether men should be wearing ties in the leg #righttobarearms,” Surrey-White Rock BC Liberal MLA Tracy Redies tweeted Thursday.

Surrey South BC Liberal MLA Stephanie Cadieux, writing in response to a tweeted photo of a number of women showing bare arms in protest, said the dress code needs to be updated.

“Dress codes and uniforms have a place but clearly it’s time to get into the 21st century at the @BCLegislature,” Cadieux tweeted Thursday. “I’m far more concerned with what is in people’s heads and hearts than what they’re wearing.”

Thursday, House Speaker Darryl Plecas issued a memo to members of the legislative assembly, press gallery, and staff outlining the “conservative contemporary” dress codes in parliament buildings.

“Gender-neutral business attire generally constitutes layered clothing that includes covered shoulders,” the memo states.

“For an individual who identifies as a woman, this would typically include a business suit, dress with sleeves, or a skirt with a sweater or blouse; jackets or cardigans are not necessarily required.”

SEE ALSO: Kim Campbell says female broadcasters should not bare arms

– With files from the Canadian Press

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