The Government of Yukon strives to create an environment that is open and inclusive to people regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Today’s tabling of Bill 22, the Act to Amend the Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues Act, marks a significant milestone in supporting the Government of Yukon’s commitment to advance inclusivity for all genders and sexual orientations.
The proposed amendments to the Act will ensure that the council can provide advice related to gender equity, sexual orientation and women’s issues on any government initiative. The amendments also fulfill a commitment the government made in the 2021 LGBTQ2S+ Inclusion Action Plan to restructure the Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues to include issues related to the Yukon’s Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual plus communities (2SLGBTQIA+).
Proposed key changes include:
- updating the Act’s title to the Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Gender Equity Act to better align with the updated title of the government’s Women and Gender Equity Directorate;
- updating the council’s mandate to align with the directorate’s mandate, ensuring the council can advise on matters related to gender equity and sexual orientation, as well as women’s issues;
- expanding the scope of the council, ensuring it can provide advice to all government ministers; and
- adding a regulation that will outline the council’s membership criteria and allow government to make any future changes needed to the council’s membership requirements through regulations.
Our government is committed to revisioning the Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues in a way that maximizes its effectiveness, while supporting our ongoing pledge to equity for all genders and sexual orientations in government services, programs, policies and legislation. The proposed amendments are about realizing the full potential of the council as an inclusive, citizen-based advisory body to the Government of Yukon. Thank you to the council for its ongoing work and commitment to its advisory role on women’s issues. I look forward to working with its current members – as well as new members, to be appointed later in the spring – on the council’s expanded mandate that reflects the diversity of all Yukoners.
Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate Jeanie McLean
The former Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues was first formed in 1987, championed by Margaret Joe, then Yukon’s Minister of Justice, and the first Indigenous Minister of Justice in Canada.
Since then, the council has informed many government policies, programs and legislation through the lens of women’s issues and provided critical advice on how to support women’s equity.
In July 2021, the Government of Yukon released the five-year LGBTQ2S+ Inclusion Action Plan. This plan identifies more than 100 initiatives to make government programs and services more inclusive and accessible to the Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual communities.
In September 2021, the Women’s Directorate’s name was changed to the Women and Gender Equity Directorate. The directorate’s mandate was also updated to include issues related to gender equity and sexual orientation.
A new regulation for the Minister’s Council on Women and Gender Equity, which will identify the council’s membership requirements, will be finalized during the spring sitting.
Members currently on the council will continue their work until the end of their terms. New members will be appointed to the council by the Commissioner in Executive Council.
Communications, Women and Gender Equity Directorate