NEWS Ballot-name battle halted
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.