Editor’s Note: A previous version of our story incorrectly identified Ray Goldenchild as having attended an anti-SOGI meeting. This is incorrect. We apologize for the error.
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Elected members of Vancouver’s Non Partisan Association are confirming support for “inclusion and diversity,” after an NPA councillor resigned over revelations one of the board’s executive members has a connection to anti-SOGI groups.
In a statement, the caucus says its four city councillors, three school trustees, and four park board commissioners unequivocally support Vancouver’s LGBTQ2S+ community and SOGI 123, the provincial resource meant to promote inclusion of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
“The NPA Caucus members strive at all times to create a safe and inclusive city for all people. We will continue to stand for inclusivity and will strongly oppose anything that detracts from that objective. We believe it is important for our Caucus to speak out with a strong, unequivocal voice and express our unyielding continued support for our LGBTQ2S+ community and SOGI 123,” reads the statement.
NPA party members recently elected Phyllis Tang to an executive positions on the party’s board of directors. Tang attended an anti-SOGI meeting in 2018, and was endorsed by social conservative advocacy group Let’s Vote prior to the election.
The statement points out that Coun. Lisa Dominato who worked on “championed” the introduction of SOGI 123 in B.C.
“It was a passion for me. My step-daughter is also a member of the LGBTQ community in British Columbia and so it also is very personal for me,” Dominato tells NEWS 1130. “I can say unequivocally that I do not share the sorts of values and views that have been reported by media to be held by certain members of the NPA board. Frankly, it is my expectation and very much strong hope that members of the NPA board who share the caucus values of inclusion and diversity will step up and take swift action.”
Dominato and the rest of the caucus say they support Coun. Rebecca Bligh’s decision to resign and sit as an independent. Bligh left the party Friday following revelations the board’s newly-elected treasurer and secretary attended a secret meeting for those opposing SOGI 123 following the municipal election in 2018.
“I would expect they will take a very close look at our concerns. When you have a member of elected council who steps away I think that that board should be concerned,” Dominato says. “I think there is an opportunity for us in our current roles to address these concerns. I think she felt compelled that she had to step away and that’s not how it should be in my opinion. And so I will work with my colleagues to address these concerns within the organization.”
Dominato explains the party and its board have little to do with the day-to-day work of elected officials.
“Typically, civic parties are really there to build membership, to do fundraising. But we work independently in terms of serving the public. We are there to represent all Vancouverites.”