Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean was named the new parliamentary secretary for gender equity for the NDP government. (Black Press file photo)

Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean was named the new parliamentary secretary for gender equity for the NDP government. (Black Press file photo)

Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean takes on gender equity portfolio

Newly created parliamentary secretary position has wide range of responsibilities

Premier John Horgan has put further responsibility on the shoulders of rookie MLA Mitzi Dean, on Thursday officially naming her to the newly created position of parliamentary secretary for gender equity.

The Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA will serve under the direction of Finance Minister Carole James and will be responsible for a range of communication and co-ordination.

Her duties will include ensuring gender equity is reflected in government budgets, policies and programs; co-ordinating cross-government action on gender issues, including gender violence, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment; liaising with feminist and women’s organizations, and promoting gender equity and leadership at senior levels in the public and private sector.

“Mitzi Dean has devoted her career to justice, fairness and support for the most vulnerable. She is uniquely qualified to promote gender equity and the advancement of women in her new role,” Horgan said in a release.

B.C. Federation of Labour president Irene Lanzinger welcomed the appointment, noting the move is important “to turn the tide on 16 years of B.C. Liberal policies that have hurt women.”

“It’s an important step for the new government to take, and a sign of a renewed commitment to work for equity and social and economic justice,” she said.

As part of her mandate, Dean is also tasked with taking a more active role tracking progress on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

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