VICTORIA B.C. – The B.C. Green Party is speaking out about the importance of safety and security for all members of our society after weeks of harassment that has been directed toward Nicola Spurling, a Provincial Councillor and former candidate who is a transgender woman.
“Since coming out as a transgender woman, I have been on the receiving end of a lot of vitriol and abuse, especially online.” Spurling said. “But since the October election, I have experienced organized harassment both online and in-person from anti-transgender activists. These attacks have left me feeling unsafe in public and at home. If we as a society don’t recognize the harm that this harassment causes, fewer and fewer people will feel safe to speak openly and participate publicly in our society. This is about silencing people and we cannot stand for that.”
“Being a public figure should not put a target on your back,” B.C. Green leader Sonia Furstenau added. “People should feel free to serve their community without sacrificing their safety. I am concerned for what Nicola has had to endure simply for being who she is. She is an exceptional woman and we need people like her in public life. This type of behaviour has to end.”
“The B.C. Green Party stands unequivocally for inclusion and diversity,” Sat Harwood, Chair of B.C. Green Party Provincial Council, said. “Respect for Diversity and Participatory Democracy are two of our six core principles; we cannot have either without a safe community to be who we are, love who we love, and engage in open, honest dialogue. The party stands fully behind Nicola and will do everything we can to support her.”
During the 2020 provincial election, Spurling was joined at a sign wave by her political opponents in the riding of Coquitlam-Maillardville and community members as a demonstration of solidarity and support. This type of cross-partisan support is important in creating safe communities.
The B.C. Green Party has put forward a number of private member’s bills to advance LGBTQ2+ rights and security, including a ban on conversion therapy and an amendment to FIPA and PIPA that would protect individuals from being outed by gendered language in disclosed documents. While the B.C. NDP government chose not to bring forward either bill for consideration, the B.C. Green Party will continue to support an environment of cross-partisan work on these issues in the legislature.
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For Sonia Furstenau:
For Nicola Spurling or Sat Harwood: