Little Sister’s co-owner Jim Deva has called for greater use of hate crime designations since the murder of Aaron Webster in Stanley Park in 2001. He wonders what the outcome of the Webster trials might have been had the new policy existed 10 years ago.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Deva says. “It’s probably what we were asking for many years ago.”
Deva believes Crown counsel will follow the policy in Vancouver where there is community pressure, but will the same hold true for other communities?
“If we have a prosecutor who is uncomfortable with gay issues, is there enough pressure there to bring it forward? Are we going to have province-wide protection and equal application?”
“Here we see the government [telling the prosecution] if they have the evidence, they must pursue it… I think this is a real victory for us.”
-Vancouver West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert
“It’s clearly taken some time, but they’ve listened to the desires of the community. The Criminal Justice Branch is effectively putting this in place.”
-Qmunity program manager Beau Llewellyn
“Anything that brings light to the whole cause is a good thing and, hopefully, Crown prosecutors will be willing to follow the letter of the law.”
-Jordan Smith, whose jaw was broken when he was called a “fucking faggot” then sucker punched by Michael Kandola on Davie St in 2008. Kandola’s actions were designated a hate crime last April.