Spencer Chandra Herbert eats pizza with Adrian Dix and promotes equality for trans community

    1 of 3 2 of 3

      The B.C. NDP candidate for Vancouver–West End has promised that if his party forms the government, transgender people will come under the B.C. Human Rights Code.

      “The private member’s bill that I brought in, we will bring it in as a government bill," Spencer Chandra Herbert told the Georgia Straight in an interview on Denman Street. "We will make it law.”

      Chandra Herbert's comments came during a visit by NDP Leader Adrian Dix to a pizza restaurant on Denman Street.

      In 2011, Chandra Herbert introduced a bill calling for protection for gender identity and gender expression.

      An explanatory note included in his motion states: "This bill affirms the rights or transsexuals, transgenderists, intersexed persons, cross-dressers, and other groups who routinely suffer discrimination based on the expression of their gender or the gender identity they experience."

      The NDP platform includes the following pledge: "Strengthen and protect human rights to ensure all citizens are treated with dignity and respect."

      However, there's no mention of "trangender" in the document, which was written under the oversight of veteran NDP MLAs Carole James and Bruce Ralston.

      Chandra Herbert told the Straight that the NDP caucus is in agreement with him on amending the B.C. Human Rights Code to protect trans rights—and this is part of the promise to strengthen and protect human rights.

      In 2012, the NDP noted in a news release that trans rights have already been "read into" the code.

      At the time, the NDP argued that "high rates of violence and discrimination, especially in employment and housing, suggest that protections for trans people need to be more clearly written out. This would be part of a larger effort to educate the public about trans people and their right to live a life of dignity and respect."

      The NDP has not promised in its platform to reinstate the B.C. Human Rights Commission.

      "We need to look at that," Chandra Herbert said. "I think there is a lot of really good argruments around why we need that kind of support. It’s just a question of to make sure it works—exactly what model or programs."

      Today, West End trans activist and NDP supporter Rachel Andrus approached NDP Leader Adrian Dix at the pizza restaurant.

      Andrus wanted to know if the NDP will promote improved access to health resources for trans people. Dix told Andrus that when he was the NDP health critic, he raised this issue.

      Rachel Andrus wants the NDP to advance trans rights.

      On Monday (May 13), Andrus will appear before the Vancouver park board to speak to a motion by Vision Vancouver commissioner Trevor Loke to create a trans and gender-variant working group.

      If the motion passes, this group will provide a report to the board on how it can be "the world's most inclusive jurisdiction for trans and gender-variant communities".

      To accomplish this, the group will provide recommendations to promote inclusivity through signage and literature, public spaces (including washrooms and changerooms), human resources training, staff policies, programming, and through collaborative public and community partnerships.


      We're now using Facebook for comments.



      May 12, 2013 at 1:01am

      go Spencer!! you rock!


      May 12, 2013 at 1:27pm

      Oh nuts...I thought it was about 'transit' rights?

      Hoping that there would be some clarification that the NDP proposal to use 'carbon tax' money on public transit wasn't simply some sop to Green Goombah Gregor and his 4 billion dollar West Broadway Skytrain sinkhole which will only further erode the region's to produce a viable and extensive overall transit system as well as bypass regional input through single funding source?

      While we are on the subject of 'shit' not being discuss while corpmedia runs it's usual 'shut up and vote' campaign ...the problem with policing in this province?

      I gather the NDP's policy is pretty much the same as the Liberals, no?

      local dad

      May 12, 2013 at 8:46pm

      It's unfortunate if some trans people have felt harassed in public washrooms. But it would NOT be a fair solution to require someone like my shy 14 year old daughter to share a "unisex" washroom with all males. Nor do my son and I want to use the same washroom as the ladies. The fact that there are unisex washrooms in one or two hipster nightclubs is hardly a precedent for society in general.


      May 13, 2013 at 8:06pm

      he really knows how to pander to his audience / electorate.