September 14, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vision Vancouver statement on the Court Petition by the City’s Chief Electoral Officer
Vancouver BC— Veteran Vision Vancouver School Board Trustee Allan Wong and Vancouver City Council candidate Honieh Barzegari are dismayed to learn that their unique usual names are at risk of being removed from the ballot—names these candidates are known by to large groups of voters.
They are also appalled to see candidates from the Non Partisan Association (NPA) engage in practices of cultural appropriation to seek unfair advantage on the ballot, by trying to add Mandarin usual names to candidates’ ballot names, when they are not commonly known by these names in community.
A court petition filed with the Provincial Court by the City’s Chief Electoral Officer challenges the use of “usual names” by 15 candidates in this election from multiple political parties, including Wong and Barzegari.
The Vancouver Charter permits the use of “usual names” to ensure voters who often associate candidates by their names are able to distinctly identify them on the ballot.
This important democratic tool is being abused by the NPA, which has filed nomination papers for all of their candidates with additional “usual names” forcing the City’s Chief Electoral Officer to seek judicial intervention.
“It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this position, particularly after making inquiries and taking steps to ensure that the use of our usual names complies with election rules,” said Wong, whose usual name is Allan Wong 黃 偉 倫. “I look forward to the resolution of this issue as soon as possible.”
“This action by the NPA - claiming that all of their candidates have Chinese usual names - threatens the legitimate use of usual names for candidates like Allan and I, who actually do have usual names in languages other than English,” said Honieh Barzegari, who is known as Honieh Barzegari هانیه برزگری in the Iranian Canadian community. "This action is a sad reminder that the NPA will stop at nothing to try to save its electoral prospects, even at the expense of other candidates. It is deeply shameful, and voters deserve better.”.
Vision Vancouver is currently seeking legal advice and will respond swiftly to the petition to ensure candidates' and voters' rights are protected, and the democratic process is upheld for the legitimate use of usual names it was intended to provide.
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Wong was given his name Allan Wong 黃 偉 倫 at birth and is commonly known as in the Chinese community.
Barzegari was born in Iran and is formally named Honieh Barzegari Khaneghah. She is known professionally and personally as Honieh Barzegari .هانیه برزگری.
The full court petition has been sealed.
For more information:
Ange Valentini, Campaign Manager
Cell: (604) 970-4877