Gay serum rumour sparks controversy among Burnaby politicians

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      Controversy has broken out on the Burnaby campaign trail over an irrational rumour that schools will inject a serum into students that will turn them gay.

      Burnaby Citizens Association's Harman Pandher discovered the rumour while visiting residents door-to-door, according to the Burnaby Now. He said he found out from residents that the rumour was being circulated through flyers and at the Bonsor Recreation Centre, and was occuring within the Mandarin-speaking community.

      The rumour was allegedly being spread by a Burnaby First Coalition volunteer.

      Burnaby First Coalition's mayoral candidate Daren Hancott was reported saying that he was unaware of the rumour and BFC campaign chair Bruce Friesen also denied that anyone involved in their campaign was involved in this rumour. The BFC is the civic party seeking to unseat current Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan (of the Burnaby Citizens' Association) in the upcoming municipal election.

      Burnaby Citizens' Association's Katrina Chen also was reporting saying that she was contacted by a Mandarin-speaking acquaintance who said many parents were concerned. Chen also received a letter at her home, written in Chinese, from B.C. Parents' Voice who encouraged voters to support the BFC.

      Controversy about LGBT issues arose in Burnaby in 2011 when the Burnaby School District attempted to pass antihomophobia policy 5.45, but faced opposition from Parents' Voice, which included current BFC candidates Charter Lau, Heather Leung, and Helen Ward.

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




      Nov 3, 2014 at 12:01pm

      We have also seen this type of targeting of the Chinese community with fear mongering campaigns in Vancouver as well. There were the flyers sent out in Vancouver-Fraserview prior to the 2009 election claiming that if elected the NDP would legalize prostitution and heroin and impose a death tax. Then there was the video, also targeted at the Chinese community, featuring Ken Denike and Sophia Woo that misrepresented the anti-bullying policy being brought in by the VSP.

      If I were a member of the Chinese community I would be greatly offended by these racist, homophobic tactics.

      Heed's campaign manager got off with a fine and probation, and Denike and Woo are prominently featured on a huge sign advertising their candidacy in my neighbourhood. It's about time we started to punish those who use these types of tactics with enough severity that it dissuades others from doing it in the future.

      Of course, that would require action on the part of those firmly entrenched in the status quo, and I don't think anyone in power has an appetite for that.


      Nov 3, 2014 at 12:03pm

      Gotta love multiculturalism!


      Nov 3, 2014 at 12:45pm

      This is hilarious.


      Nov 3, 2014 at 1:24pm

      Isn't the real story here that so many people actually believe this can happen and are frightened by it?


      Nov 3, 2014 at 1:35pm

      Isn't anyone concerned that members of the community actually believed that such a thing a) exists; b) would be administered by a school?


      Nov 3, 2014 at 1:53pm

      Ah, democracy. LOL.

      James Blatchford

      Nov 3, 2014 at 4:48pm

      There would be broader buy-in if they said chemtrails...the Burnaby Bob's would be all over that.


      Nov 3, 2014 at 5:56pm

      BC liberal politicians and their supporters are known for this kind of fear mongering in the Chinese community

      D. Thompson

      Nov 3, 2014 at 6:08pm

      Chinese live in a parallel word where mainstream rules and language don't apply. This incident gives us a glimpse into that world.