2 min

Shaking up the status quo

Ian McLeod calls Safe Streets Act 'elitist'

Credit: Matt Mills

Ian McLeod sayshe’s running for the Democratic Reform party of BC because “it’s a party that’s moderate and against the status quo that we’ve seen in BC for the past 20 years.

“All the other parties are either too far left or too far right,” he adds.

Democratic Reform “is a party that believes in democracy in BC and feels British Columbians are not represented by the two parties,” McLeod continues.

The party only came into existence in January, the product of several small parties merging, including the BC Democratic Coalition, the All Nations Party and some members of the Reform Party of BC. It describes itself as a “fiscally conservative, socially progressive” middle-of-the-road alternative to the NDP and the Liberals.

This is McLeod’s first shot at political office in Vancouver-Burrard. There was no one running under the Democratic Reform banner in Vancouver-Burrard so he decided to go for it, he says, “because it stands for what I believe in.”

McLeod was born and raised in BC and has been in Vancouver for a year now. He spent last year teaching English in Korea. He is currently single and works in a union job at a liquor distribution outlet.

He is against the Safe Streets Act and describes the legislation as “an elitist, mean-spirited measure against panhandlers and squeegee people.

“I want to address the homeless issue and find a solution,” he adds.

Substance abuse in the gay community and the quality of life in the West End are major concerns of his. He wants to help enhance public safety, not only with regard to preventing gaybashings but also break-and-enters and other crimes.

When asked what he would do to make schools safer for queer students across BC, he notes the inequity between those school districts who have adopted anti-homophobia policies and those that haven’t.

If anti-homophobia policies were implemented and enforced consistently, he says, it would increase the safety of all queer students. He would push for provincial legislation in that regard if elected, he promises. “All school districts should have homophobia education funding.”

Democratic Reform also supports gay marriage, he notes, “and as MLA, I would push the federal government to legalize gay marriage.”

If elected, McLeod says he would also call for a review of the justice system, “in light of the sentences handed down in the Aaron Webster case.”

Democratic Reform would also work to have antiquated pieces of sex-related legislation, such as the existing sodomy laws, stricken from the books, he says.

“People are getting punished worse for those laws than Aaron Webster’s perpetrators were,” McLeod claims.

The 38-year-old charges both the NDP and Liberals with catering to their own special-interest groups and not acting in the best interests of the people. “The DRBC promises to serve the citizens of BC and not the special interests.”

McLeod notes that one of his party’s platform planks is to enact legislation protecting corporate and governmental whistle blowers. Another party priority is stricter financing laws for political campaigns making it less possible for contributors to hide behind bogus privacy regulations and illegally pour money into political campaigns under a veil of bureaucratic secrecy.