The BC NDP issued a five–pronged call for action to combat homophobia in time for Pride.
The NDP’s wish list revisits longstanding community demands for explicit anti-homophobia policy in all school districts, and for Crown to assertively seek hate crime designations in all gaybashing cases. It also calls for more beat cops in the Davie Village, a victim services worker and a province-wide tips line for gaybashing reports.
“We have seen the development of really good relations with the police department, and we’ve had the hate crime designation added on in the Kandola case, so it’s coming along,” says Vancouver–West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert. “But we still have people getting beaten up, so we’re not in a sense further ahead.”
The education system needs to be “quite aggressive” in combating homophobia too, he says
But Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid maintains the ministry is “doing everything already,” Chandra Herbert notes.
“Boards in all school districts have reported they have policies in place reflecting our commitment to maintaining a safe, positive and welcoming culture in BC schools,” MacDiarmid said in her usual prepared statement, sent to Xtra on July 26.
“I asked her for evidence of that, but they never provided it,” counters Chandra Herbert.