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In a news release issued on Oct. 4, Manohar said the party rescinded allegations of transphobia were levied against the party by a former director.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 cover of the 2021 RASTA calendar. (Photo submitted)
Smashed pumpkins provide a royal Thanksgiving feast for RASTA Sanctuary animals

Substantial community donations to purchase pumpkins surpasses the initial goal

Advance polling begins on Oct. 15, 2020, across B.C. in the 2020 snap election. (Black Press files)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Advance voting begins today in Nanaimo-North Cowichan

Advance voting runs from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21 in B.C.’s election

The Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates will take part in a virtual candidates forum hosted by the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and VIREB (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates to participate in virtual candidates forum

The forum will be hosted by the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and VIREB on October 19

Nanaimo-Ladysmith families make decisions to send kids to school or keep them learning at home

School district’s transition learning program asking for decision by Nov. 6

Strong winds to gust over Vancouver Island today

Environment Canada issues special weather statement

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Buy a boat,’ Horgan advises anti-maskers on BC Ferries

NDP leader John Horgan talks COVID-19 misinformation

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Family devastated as search for missing Manning Park hiker suspended

‘It was an extremely difficult meeting with the parents when we had to tell them.’

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, Cullen apologize for NDP candidate’s comments about Haida candidate

Nathan Cullen had made insensitive comments about Roy Jones Jr. Cheexial

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Alberni. (News Bulletin file photo)
UPDATE: More sailings cancelled after ferry breaks down

Queen of Alberni out of commission, BC Ferries revises schedules

Six Mile Beach outside Nelson is known for its perfect sand, clear water and unique sand spit. But the drowning death of a man in July has residents asking if the dangerous spot has become too popular. Photo: David Grantham/Kootenay Drone Services
Dangerous oasis: The fatal history of a popular Kootenay Lake beach

Six Mile Beach near Nelson is known for its unique sand spit. But locals have feared it for decades

In this photo illustration, a provincial election mail-in ballot sealed in an Elections B.C. return envelope is seen before being deposited in a Canada Post mailbox, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The final result of British Columbia’s provincial election won’t be known for at least two weeks because more than 700-thousand mail-in ballots have to be counted by hand. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s snap election means 700k ballots will be counted manually, delaying results

Elections BC spokesman said employees in 87 electoral districts will count mail-in ballots one by one

Most Read