NDP says scrap House of Commons’ gender-based dress rules, including jackets and ties for men

NDP says scrap House of Commons' gender-based dress rules, including jackets and ties for men
Canadian Press - Adrian Wyld

MPs are calling for the House of Commons’ “archaic” dress code — which requires men to wear a jacket and tie to speak in the chamber — to be scrapped.

NDP MPs want the traditional rules on decorum to be updated, to make them more modern and to accommodate transgender, non-binary and two-spirit members.

There are no specific dress rules for women MPs who are still a minority in the House of Commons — like men, they must dress in “contemporary business attire” in order to speak in a debate.

Rare exceptions have been made to the rules for men, such as allowing them to wear a kilt on Robbie Burns Day.

Randall Garrison, the NDP’s spokesperson on LGBTQ issues, says the New Democrats will ask for the rules to be updated after the House returns on Nov. 22.

He says a simple statement about decorum would suffice, without specifying traditional gender-based modes of dress, such as a jacket and tie for a man.

“The provisions are archaic and we have been arguing they should be eliminated for a long time,” Garrison says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2021.


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