Debate over non-Latin characters on ballots in Vancouver

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Debate over non-Latin characters on Vancouver ballots

Vancouver mayoral candidates had until September 9 to file their nomination papers. The official list of candidates is due to be posted on September 16.

Vancouver Chief Electoral Officer Rosemary Hagiwara is asking the British Columbia Provincial Court to rule on the use by 15 candidates of names in non-Latin characters on municipal election ballots.

She filed the lawsuit last Tuesday, and the case is due to be heard Thursday at the Vancouver downtown courthouse.

In the application filed in the Court of First Instance, she notes that all 15 respondents submitted the “common name” to be used on the ballots in Latin characters as well as Chinese or Arabic characters.

< p class="e-p">The Director General says that none of these candidates made such a request the last time they participated in a municipal election.

  • Candidate for Mayor
  • Harding, Fred 傅爱德 (NPA)
  • Candidate for City Councilor
  • Allan, Elaine 伊艾倫 (NPA)
  • Barzegari, Honieh هانیه برزگری (Vision Vancouver)
  • Bhayani, Cinnamon 芯娜萌 雅妮 Barzegari, Honieh هانیه برزگری
  • Bonamis, Iona 陶思穎 (OneCity)
  • Charko, Ken 肯 查克 (NPA)
  • De Genova, Melissa 鄭慧蘭 (NPA)
  • Lee , Morning 李會民 (NPA)
  • Truong, Tesicca 張慈櫻 Trương Từ Anh (Forward with Kennedy Stewart)
  • Zarrabian, Arezo 蘇勵安 (NPA)
  • < strong>Parks Commissioner Candidate
  • Pasin, Dave 戴夫 帕辛 (NPA)
  • School Trustee Candidates< /strong>
  • Aggarwal, Rahul 羅家衛 (NPA)
  • Kljajic, Milan 夏•米男 (NPA)
  • Mah, Suzie 馬陳小珠 (COPE)
  • Wong, Allan 黃偉倫 (Vision Vancouver)

In a statement, the Vision Vancouver party notes that its Candidates Allan Wong and Honieh Barzegari are disappointed and concerned to learn that their common and unique names printed in non-Latin characters will be excluded from the ballot.

On the other hand, Vision Vancouver accuses some candidates of cultural appropriation because they have adopted a name in Chinese that they are not generally known by to give themselves an advantage in the ballot.


COPE party school trustee candidate Suzie Mah is shocked and in disbelief after learning she was among the respondents, as her Chinese name is the one that gave her was given by his parents and is an integral part of his identity.

It is important for me to write my Chinese and English names on the report card. My goal is not to win more votes in the Chinese community, she said, adding that she is not one of those who invented a Chinese name for the elections.

Suzie Mah claims that her Chinese name is well known to the Chinese community and that due to the short time before Thursday's hearing, she did not not had the opportunity to consult a lawyer about it.

Mayoral candidate Fred Harding denies having invented a Chinese name (archives).

NPA party mayoral candidate Fred Harding denies making up a Chinese name for the election. He claims to have had a Chinese name for many years because half of his wife's family is of Chinese descent.

Telling me that name isn't my real common name, get it, it's like, “You don't really know me,” he said.

In an attestation, Rosemary Hagiwara said that the original nomination documents submitted by Fred Harding on September 6 did not include a common name in Chinese characters, but that he revised those documents three days later for the appointment. add to it. She also notes that Fred Harding did not use a Chinese character name when he was running for mayor in 2018.

Fred Harding said that while the party NPA has access to lawyers, none of them have yet been able to comment on the matter.

Tesicca Truong, presents herself as a municipal councilor for the Forward Together party. She asked to be put on the ballot as Truong, Tesicca 張慈櫻 Trương Từ Anh.

The Forward Together party, for which the incumbent mayor and candidate is running for mayor Stewart Kennedy, defends the right of candidates to put a common name in non-Latin characters on the ballot.

We will vigorously defend the right of our candidate Tesicca Truong to have her birth name listed on the ballot, party chief executive Mark Hosak said in a press release. /p>

We also endorse the cause of Vision Vancouver candidates Allan Wong and Honieh Barzegari, as well as OneCity party candidate Iona Bonamis, who are among the sponsors.

< p class="e-p">In a city as diverse as Vancouver, candidates can run and be known by many names, says Tesicca Truong. It is extremely disappointing that their non-Latin common names are excluded from the ballot.

In her attestation, Rosemary Hagiwar writes that, to her knowledge, no candidate in the Vancouver municipal elections has #x27;requested to use a non-standard in non-Latin characters before the 2014 election.

A candidate had this right in 2014. In 2018, the Municipal Elections Office of Vancouver allowed only councilor candidate Brandon Yan (甄念本), of the OnceCity party, to use his Chinese name on ballots, denying that right to other candidates who requested it.

This decision by the Elections Office led to a legal challenge by school trustee candidates Sophie Woo and Ken Denike.

The municipal elections will take place on October 15.

With information from Winston Szeto

With information from La Presse canadienne

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