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274 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 2 M A R C H 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE “Daughters of the Vote”. The young women will be seated in Parliament on March 8, 2017—International Women’s Day. Federally, women hold 26 per cent of the seats in Parliament, but on March 8 every seat will be temporarily occupied by a woman, perhaps encouraging these and other young women to consider pursuing public office. In British Columbia 32 of the 85 seats in the Legislative Assembly (37.6 per cent) are held by women. While still not representative of the gender demographics of our province, B.C. ranks first in Canada in terms of female representation in a provincial legislature. Our Lieutenant-Governor, the Honourable Judith Guichon, Premier Christy Clark, Speaker Reid and the Attorney General are all women. While we can be proud of our leadership, clearly there is still work to be done on this front. JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY SECTOR REFORM AND INNOVATION Also in November 2016, I provided several updates on British Columbia’s progress and accomplishments toward achieving justice and public safety sector reform and innovation. Following the August 2012 release of Geoffrey Cowper, Q.C.’s report, A Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century, which addressed the efficiency and effectiveness of B.C.’s criminal justice system, the province has been hard at work in delivering its transformation agenda for the justice and public safety sector. As B.C.’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General over the past four years I have been especially proud of continuing to lead the many justice and public safety sector initiatives and accomplishments to date. And with more hard work ahead, I also welcome the ongoing interest from other jurisdictions that repeatedly turn to B.C. out of an interest in our progressive justice transformation achievements and want to learn from our experiences. In May 2016 I hosted Lord Justice Michael Briggs from the United Kingdom in support of his endeavour to launch a new online court in the U.K. for more affordable dispute resolution. As part of his B.C. tour Lord Justice Briggs spent two days with the Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”) discussing the challenges and opportunities of an online court. Delegations from Singapore, Australia and jurisdictions within Canada have also sought out the Ministry of Justice for information and advice on their own justice transformation efforts. Many of B.C.’s innovations have included criminal justice reforms, justice and public safety sector strategic planning through the Justice and Public Safety Council, online dispute resolution delivered by the CRT, further progress on early resolution with the Provincial Court Scheduling Project and dedicated funding to the Legal Services Society to support justice inno-


March Pages 2017
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