BC Ecosocialist party pulls candidates amid transphobia allegations an Oct. 4 press release from the party said. (Facebook graphic)

BC Ecosocialist party pulls candidates amid transphobia allegations an Oct. 4 press release from the party said. (Facebook graphic)

Ecosocialists pull all B.C. electoral candidates amid transphobia allegations

Protecting candidates is a priority amid allegations, Ecosocialist Party says

Allegations of transphobia in the BC Ecosocialist Party “have taken the wind out of our sails,” executive director Ashwini Manohar said after the party pulled all electoral candidates last week from the upcoming provincial election.

The BC Ecosocialist Party, which was founded in 2019, describes itself as “further left than the NDP, greener than the Greens.”

In a news release issued on Oct. 4, Manohar said the party rescinded allegations of transphobia were levied against the party by a former director.

The damage to the party was a hit from a social media screen shot that went viral, with demands for interim party leader, Stuart Parker to be denounced by the party. Parker has stepped down.

“This week a former director called for the entire provincial council to step down as the failure of the party to condemn Parker is being read as endorsement of his position. On advice of counsel, we have chosen not to issue personal denouncements and expose ourselves to liability for ascribing beliefs to Parker he vehemently denies having,” Manohar said in the statement.

“Parker’s personal views on gender have nothing to do with our current gender equity policy, which was written collaboratively by women and trans people. He is no longer involved with the party in any meaningful way.

“However, given the nature of the allegations and to prevent our candidates from further attack and reputational damage, we have elected not to field any candidates. It is also our view that we will not build a broad-based egalitarian party if we permit it to be used to settle personal scores between individuals whose interpersonal issues predate the party’s existence by decades,” Manohar added.

READ MORE: Ecosocialist Party pulls all candidates from the provincial election

According to the press release, the party was in the process of reviewing and working on policies with public consultations ready to be made, when the election was called.

“We denounce transphobia in the strongest possible terms and affirm that it has no place in our party. As socialists, we are committed to equity and to fighting for the rights of people who have been marginalized by mainstream society,” Deanna Drschiwiski policy chair and party spokesperson said.

“We have welcomed the involvement of 2SLGBTQQIA people in the party, many of whom have participated in the policy writing process and hold positions on provincial council.”

“While it’s terrible that this situation has caused harm to the trans community, I think the silver lining is that this is the first election ever where trans issues have been front and center for any party,” Drschiwiski said, while encouraging everyone to read the Ecosocialists gender equity policy for themselves and compare it to those offered by other parties.

“The best possible outcome is one where all the parties take a strong stance against transphobia and gender inequity and specify the changes they would make to improve the lives of 2SLGBTQQIA people across B.C.,” Drschiwiski said.

Manohar said that building an explicitly socialist party is no easy feat, and one too that is run almost entirely by volunteers.

“Horgan’s unnecessary and irresponsible snap election sent us all reeling – in the pressures of rising to the formidable task of fielding a full slate of candidates, we had to stop planning for our membership convention set to take place in November, and rush to finish the work on our policy document and solidify organizational structure,” Manohar said.

“These allegations have taken the wind out of our sails, certainly, but the work we’re doing is vitally important and will continue in the coming months. The party is committed to making the membership convention its next priority after the election.”

READ MORE: New B.C. political party ‘further left than the NDP, greener than the Greens’


 
K-J Millar | Journalist 
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

BC politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Saanich girl, 12, speaks to lack of supports, says mom

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

Illegal goods seized in the simultaneous April 23 busts in Saanich and Sooke. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
RCMP drug busts net trucks, cocaine, cash and Hells Angels gear

Simultaneous searches coordinated between West Shore, Saanich and Sooke police

The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police watchdog investigates after man found unresponsive at Saanich jail

Man was in Victoria police custody the day before being found

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a homicide on Third Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
RCMP investigating homicide in Port Alberni apartment

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the deceased

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

A black bear made a visit to downtown Vancouver Tuesday, May 4. The animal was spotted on train tracks in Gastown shortly after at 2:30 p.m. (Twitter/Craig Minielly)
VIDEO: Black bear spotted meandering around downtown Vancouver

The bear was reportedly tranquilized by conservation officers Tuesday afternoon

Most Read