7 min

UPDATE: Denike and Woo now in Christian Fellowship video

Read a transcript of the password-protected video

UPDATE: Dec 20, 2pm:

Xtra tried to reach Tim Fan to find out more about the video he claims to own, his connection to the Christian Social Concern Fellowship and NPA school trustees Ken Denike and Sophia Woo, and when and why he password-protected a video that he posted publicly on Aug 20. But Fan has yet to respond.

While we are waiting, here is a partial transcript of the video he no longer wants you to see:

“One of the people who was going to run for Vision… is promoting basically mandatory involvement in the curriculum for gay, lesbian, etc, which is not the way we’ve done things in Vancouver in the past. What we’ve done is say you cannot discriminate, but not to try to protect one particular group. The object is not to discriminate against anybody, rather than to say this particular group needs to be special.”

Editor’s note: to read a copy of the Vancouver School Board’s anti-homophobia policy, passed in 2004 to specifically address homophobia in the district’s schools, click here.

An audience member asks how many seats the NPA will need to gain control of the Vancouver School Board.
Denike: “We want five. Five out of nine.”

Another audience members asks: didn’t the Vancouver School Board pass a policy in 2004?
Denike: “That was a COPE board.”

Question from audience: “Vancouver is worse than Burnaby?”

Woo: “No, no.”

Audience member: “Burnaby is worse than Vancouver?”

Woo: “Yes, a lot worse, yes.”

An audience member seeks clarification: Vancouver has not yet passed its own policy?

Woo: “Not yet.”

“We have an anti-discrimination — for everybody. Not specifically protecting one group.”

Another audience member: “But Burnaby is now, they have a … special interest group.”

Moderator: “Tell your friends: if they care about what their children, their grandchildren are learning in school then be concerned about this issue of putting the gay and lesbian and transsexual kind of ideas into the curriculum. We don’t mind it as a choice, as an option. But if it’s compulsory, if it’s mandatory … (switches to Chinese) … democratic ideas …”

Audience member: “They have already announced that they will do it, but they haven’t put in a motion yet, right?”

Woo: “No. If they put a motion we would oppose it.”

Audience member: “Will they do it before the election or after the election? You don’t know?”

Denike: “I don’t know when they will.”

Audience member: “Hard to tell.”

Denike: “At this point, what they’re doing is saying this is what they’re hoping to do.”

Audience member: “Right now they have more votes than you guys, right? So can you guys revisit after election if you have more votes?”

Woo: “What we can do is: if he [Denike] knows then he will let you guys so we have a lot of voices from here, right? We oppose it, right?”

Moderator: “It’s a lot harder to revoke —

Denike: “But we can slow it down.”

Moderator: “Stop it right from the first place, that would be the best.”

Another audience member asks if Vancouver is planning to introduce a policy similar to the one passed in Burnaby — “since they already have something in hand, they just copy it and bring it…”

Denike: “That’s basically what we’re concerned about.”

—Robin Perelle


UPDATE: Dec 19, 6:35am:

Overnight, Xtra received an email from Tim Fan, who identifies himself as the owner of the YouTube channel in which the video appeared. Here is the text:

Subject: Regarding using my footages without my permission. Re: UPDATE: Denike and Woo now in Christian Fellowship video, POLITICS / Xtra has obtained a copy of the password-protected video

Dear Xtra Vancouver,

I own the timothyfan channel on YouTube and YouTube is paying me for posting my video. My YouTube channel is for profit.
I was so surprised that you have used my footage on your news titled ” UPDATE: Denike and Woo now in Christian Fellowship video, POLITICS / Xtra has obtained a copy of the password-protected video” without my permission!
First,I am demanding you to pay me Canadian 40,000 dollars loyalty and compensation for your re-board casting of my copyrighted footage on and on your Xtraonline Youtube Channel.
Secondly, Since you are using my footage without my permission. I’d like you to remove the footage from your news and website and on your YouTube Channel right away at this moment 1:50 pm 18th, Dec, 2011 until we come up with terms we agreed upon. You are liable and I will take further legal action if you do not follow my demands Xtra Vancouver.

Please do that now without delay. I will contact my lawyer and will give you further instructions.
Looking forward for your respond A.S.A.P.

We’ve removed the video below. In the meantime, have a look at this . . .

. . . until more updates are available. Check back soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to check out the rest of the videos on Fan’s YouTube channel, click here.

UPDATE: Dec 17, 2pm

Xtra has obtained a copy of the password-protected video in which school trustee Ken Denike and then-candidate Sophia Woo tell a Christian Social Concern Fellowship picnic that Vancouver has only a general anti-discrimination policy.

With the Nov 19 election in sight, the NPA candidates tell the gathering that their party needs more seats on the school board to block the introduction of a specific anti-homophobia policy like the one recently adopted by the Burnaby School Board.

The Vancouver School Board passed BC’s first anti-homophobia policy in 2004.

“Trustee Ken Denike knows that policy has been in place for seven years,” VSB chair Patti Bacchus told Xtra Dec 16.

Bacchus says Woo and Denike are pandering and fear-mongering with their comments to the Christian Social Concern Fellowship.

“I was stunned,” she says. “I didn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing in that.”

The issue, along with Denike and Woo’s appearance, revealed earlier this week, in a video posted on an American anti-gay-marriage site, is expected to be addressed at the Jan 16 school board meeting. Calls have already been made for Denike and Woo’s resignations.


Dec 16

Two school trustees already in hot water for their appearance in a video by an American anti-gay-marriage group are now making headlines for their appearance in a second video in which they allegedly misrepresent the Vancouver School Board’s seven-year-old anti-homophobia policy for political gain.

The second video, posted to YouTube on Aug 20, shows Vancouver trustee Ken Denike and then-candidate Sophia Woo at a Christian Social Concern Fellowship (CSCF) meeting in a park.

The CSCF video came to light a day after activists demanded to know why Denike and Woo, both elected to the VSB on Nov 19, star in a video posted on the website for the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance discussing their concerns about the anti-homophobia program Out in Schools.

In the first video, partially filmed on VSB property, Denike and Woo say an Out in Schools teachers’ guide (published in 2006 and since revised) points youth to “a website ostensibly oriented toward counselling students” which, they claim, is actually an “adult website which contained very explicit videos containing pictures of homosexual activities.”

In the now-inaccessible second video, discussion centres around CSCF members’ fears that an anti-homophobia policy like the one adopted in Burnaby in June would be implemented in Vancouver schools, making education on queer issues compulsory.

The VSB passed its anti-homophobia policy in 2004.

The moderator concludes by saying, “Tell your friends if they care about what their children and grandchildren are learning at school, they should be concerned about this issue of putting the gay and lesbian and transsexual kind of ideas into the curriculum. We don’t mind it as a choice, as an option.”

The first video for the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance was bad enough, says VSB chair Patti Bacchus; this one is equally appalling.

Bacchus says Woo and Denike are pandering and fear-mongering with their comments to the CSCF.

“I was stunned,” she says. “I didn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing in that.”

“Trustee Ken Denike knows that policy has been in place for seven years,” Bacchus continues. “He denies the policy that in other media he says he supports. He’s also telling people it doesn’t exist.”

Denike denies misrepresenting Vancouver’s policy.

“The policy was in place when the NPA board came in in 2005,” he says, adding the NPA board increased support for the district’s anti-homophobia consultant.

Woo tells Xtra that she too supports Vancouver’s anti-homophobia policy.

Denike says the CSCF meeting was concerned about the possible addition of queer curriculum. “The issue was parental consent,” he clarifies. He believes parents have the right to withdraw children if they object to what’s being taught in class. “I think there’s a lot of confusion out there,” he adds.

Woo agrees.

She says she has no problem with gay issues being discussed in schools as long as there is parent and student choice on the issue rather than it being compulsory.

In the CSCF video, Denike and Woo mention Vancouver’s gay advisory committee member Ryan Clayton and former school trustee Jane Bouey.

Both Bouey and Clayton, who considered running for the school board, wonder if Woo and Denike willfully misrepresented the seven-year-old policy to score votes. Both have watched the CSCF video.

“I can’t decide whether Denike is too lazy to read what our policy is or if he’s lying,” Bouey says. “We have a policy. They repeatedly say Vancouver doesn’t have a policy. How can you have an incumbent trustee that’s that ignorant of one of the major policies of the district?”

Bouey situates Denike and Woo’s criticism of anti-homophobia policy and programs within a recent spate of such criticism from a vocal minority out for political gain.

“At least it’s very clear the attack on Out in Schools wasn’t some sort of error,” Bouey says. “It’s clear their concern is about any form of education around anti-homophobia. They can’t hide and pretend it’s anything else.”

Clayton, who says he has had some of the Chinese discussion in the video translated, agrees. “They’re denying the policy’s existence,” he says. “They’re fear-mongering. Such a policy exists already. Maybe they have a time machine.”

After news surfaced of the first video, Denike’s Twitter feed (@ubcken) received comments on Dec 15 from people asking what he and Woo were thinking when they appeared on the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance site.

The comments did not stop Denike from tweeting a photo of himself with Woo and Nicki Li, the concerned parent in the first video, posing with Premier Christy Clark.

The tweet suggests the three were receiving congratulations from the premier: “Holiday celebrations @christieclarkbc congrats @woo_sophia @ubcken of @vsb39  and Nicki Li #bcpoli  #vancouver”

Denike tells Xtra the picture was taken at Clark’s Christmas party on Dec 14 at Point Grey Golf Club.

Clayton says the photo is proof that all four “know each other politically.”

A statement from the premier’s office says, “the premier met and had her photo taken with many people that night, as it was a well-attended function. The premier’s record of support for anti-bullying, including LGBT youth, is long standing and well known. In fact, yesterday the government issued a request for proposals to strengthen anti-bullying initiatives in BC schools.”