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In a news release issued on Oct. 4, Manohar said the party rescinded allegations of transphobia were levied against the party by a former director.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

The Downtown Vernon Association is requesting free parking on Saturdays in 2021 to boost recovery efforts of businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Free Saturday parking in Vernon would boost business recovery: DVA

Downtown Vernon Association calls for free parking every Saturday to support local businesses amid COVID-19

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Vehicle crashes 100 feet down embankment near West Kelowna

West Kelowna emergency crews performing high angle rescue

(Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon house fire deemed suspicious

An investigation into the Wednesday morning fire has been turned over to the RCMP

Snowfall in the Okanagan shatters records. (Contributed)
Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Penticton has received over 10 cm today, surpassing the 8 cm record set in 1957

Multiple crashes are keeping emergency crews busy on North Okanagan roads Friday, Oct. 23. (Vernon North Okanagan RCMP photo)
UPDATE: Vernon motorists winter driving skills rusty

First snowfall sees numerous accidents, yet people still not driving to conditions

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO)
Police watchdog clears Kelowna RCMP in connection to man’s death

The man died following a single vehicle crash on Highway 97 in June

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
UPDATE: Collision cleared, Highway 33 at Idabel Lake reopens

The Kelowna RCMP are urging drivers to stay away from the area

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read