Ken Denike, Sophia Woo sue NPA and Elizabeth Ball for defamation

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      Two former school trustees are taking legal action against the Non Partisan Association and a Vancouver city councillor for defamation.

      Ken Denike and Sophia Woo filed a claim in B.C. Supreme Court on December 17 stating that they were "by way of innuendo" intimated to be homophobes and intolerant of LGBTQ+ communities.

      Denike and Woo were expelled from the NPA after they held a news conference about concerns regarding the Vancouver School Board's sexual orientation and gender identity policy updates.

      Denike and Woo were the only trustees to vote against the gender identity amendments in June.

      The NPA issued a statement in June to explain why they removed the two trustees from their caucus.

      "The decision to expel Denike and Woo was necessary given that the two have chosen to follow their own course in various matters without consulting with the other members of Caucus."

      Denike and Woo also named NPA councillor Elizabeth Ball in their lawsuit for comments she made on CBC's On the Coast on June 13 after their expulsion. 

      None of the allegations have been proven in court; neither of the defendants have filed statements of defence yet.

      Denike, a retired geography professor, and Woo, a mental-health clinician, ran for re-election in October but did not win.

      In 2012, Denike and Woo had their lawyer issue cease-and-desist letters to school trustees. The letter claimed that defamatory statements were being made that suggested the two were homophobic.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at



      Skipp Add

      Dec 19, 2014 at 5:59pm

      Can we safely assume that friends and associates of the Fraser or Manning Institutes aren't paying for this one? Perhaps Randy Helton could tell us who is?

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      out at night

      Dec 20, 2014 at 12:21pm

      A word or phrase meant only to describe a certain type of behaviour associated with a certain attitude grows hair, fangs, claws and next thing you know, YOU CAN'T SAY THAT WORD! Actually according to this article it seems no one actually came right out and used the word "homophobe", but rather implied it "though innuendo". So, wow, you can't even suggest that someone is against gay people now?

      It is deeply ironic: the offending behaviour used to be actually being homophobic, or racist, sexist, a bully, etc. Now it seems that calling others out on those actions is the new "YOU CAN'T SAY THAT". So, by this logic, I should be able to discriminate openly against minorities and if anyone accuses me of doing so I will sue them. ????

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      Dec 21, 2014 at 9:43am

      "A word or phrase meant only to describe a certain type of behaviour associated with a certain attitude......"

      Ahh but it's more than a mere description, and you know it. Being accused of those attitudes can and do get people fired from their jobs or ostracized in other ways.

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      Barry William Teske

      Dec 25, 2014 at 4:38pm

      It is not hard to figure out what it is you are not saying by using anonymity as your shield.

      Human Rights and Equality are not based on faceless bravado.

      Points though for showing some emotion.

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