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In a news release issued on Oct. 4, Manohar said the party rescinded allegations of transphobia were levied against the party by a former director.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

Jordan Jay Ward, 20, is wanted Canada-wide for manslaughter. (Calgary police photo)
UPDATE: ‘Suspicious’ man seen in Parksville woods not manslaughter suspect

Hikers say he resembled Jordan Jay Ward, wanted Canada-wide

From left: BC NDP candidate Adam Walker; BC Liberal Party candidate Michelle Stilwell. (Submitted/file)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates wait for mail-in ballot count

NDP’s Adam Walker has lead over B.C. Liberal Party’s Michelle Stilwell

An illustration was given to the Parksville’s Church of the Ascension by a person, in appreciation for allowing use of its shower facility. (Mike Favero/Submitted photo)
Parksville church makes showers available to the homeless

Pastor receives special illustration from one appreciative person

Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health chief medical health officer, immunizes Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s vice-president of pandemic planning. (Submitted photo)
Island Health advising people to get a flu shot

People looking to get vaccinated should book an appointment, says Island Health

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

A heavy police presence was spotted in Lumby, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Facebook)
Police situation leads to ‘hold and secure’ at North Okanagan school

Police call for social media blackout in ongoing incident

Most Read