NEWS Bal­lot-name bat­tle halted

The Georgia Straight - - News - By

TCar­l­ito Pablo

he le­gal ac­tion against the ad­di­tion of city-coun­cil can­di­date Bran­don Yan’s Chi­nese name to the Van­cou­ver bal­lot has been aban­doned.

Ken Denike and Sophia Woo have dis­con­tin­ued their no­tice of claim that ques­tioned the in­clu­sion of Chi­nese char­ac­ters next to Yan’s name.

Yan is the only can­di­date in the Oc­to­ber 20 civic elec­tion who was able to have an ad­di­tional Chi­nese name on the bal­lot, which Denike and Woo claimed was un­fair to oth­ers.

Denike and Woo are can­di­dates for the school board.

For Yan, the con­tro­versy over his Chi­nese name was a “silly” is­sue.

“For some­one like me, as I said, who got into this elec­tion be­cause I wanted to put my­self out there as a renter and as some­one who wanted to make change in Van­cou­ver, and then to have a very silly thing—it seemed silly to me, any­ways—kind of dis­tract me from all of that…while I was talk­ing about my name, we weren’t talk­ing about hous­ing or trans­porta­tion or poverty or drug

Ge­or­gia Straight use,” Yan told the by phone on Septem­ber 24.

Yan said that it was “all very weird” for him that he be­came a “tar­get” be­cause he had Chi­nese char­ac­ters next to his name. “We see many non-chi­nese can­di­dates have Chi­nese names on their lawn signs, and so why is the crit­i­cism only com­ing my way?”

Denike re­vealed that he and Woo are no longer pur­su­ing their no­tice of claim be­fore the B.C. Supreme Court.

Denike and Woo had sug­gested that if Yan’s Chi­nese name was not re­moved, then other can­di­dates should be al­lowed to have Chi­nese names on the bal­lot as well. But then Denike re­vealed that he and Woo were no longer pur­su­ing their no­tice of claim be­fore the B.C. Supreme Court.


Denike told the by phone that he and Woo aban­doned the court ac­tion last Fri­day (Septem­ber 21) be­cause it be­came “pretty clear that the city was not go­ing to re­ally back down”. “We didn’t want to hold up the whole process,” Denike said, re­fer­ring to the elec­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Denike, af­ter the elec­tion he and Woo would like to see more con­ver­sa­tions by ci­ti­zens about the use of other names.

Yan does not speak Chi­nese and had claimed that he wanted the Chi­nese char­ac­ters in the bal­lot as a way to hon­our his fa­ther, who gave him the Chi­nese name.

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