Bill to promote gender equity on Parliament Hill fails

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OTTAWA — A bill intended to promote gender equity on Parliament Hill failed Wednesday night with a vote of 210 to 68.

Bill C-237, proposed by New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, would have penalized parties that don”t run slates of candidates that come close to gender parity.

If passed, it would have withheld some of the campaign expense refunds provided to parties for slates with fewer than 45 per cent women.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wasn”t in the House for the vote.

A government official said the Liberals had concerns about whether the bill would stand up to a Charter challenge if it limited the parties’ ability to choose candidates.