What the heck is going on in the Burnaby election? First there was the mayoral candidate who wants to ban all forms of public affection, now it’s a rumour kids are getting “gay serum” injections at school.
Burnaby’s Mandarin community is the target of this latest “smear campaign” on the road to city hall, as one school trustee discovered while out visiting with potential voters.
BCA school trustee Harman Pandher told Burnaby Now that a couple of weeks ago while going door-to-door he learned members of the area’s Mandarin community had received a flyer at the Bonsor Recreation Centre claiming that their children were receiving injections of a serum that would make them homosexual.
Mandarin-speaking parents were approached by someone outside the Rec Centre who told them only the Burnaby First coalition could protect their children, according to the Burnaby News Leader. One of the parents relayed her experience to the paper:
“I asked [the campaigner] what happens if Burnaby First fails with the election. She said, if another party wins, they support the gays and they can also change the kids’ sex at school … at school they will give the kids something like a drug injection … and the school won’t tell parents.”
Burnaby First’s mayoral candidate, Daren Hancott, said he did not know about the flyers, and believes the tactic could be “political sabotage.”
Pandher says the “gay serum” rumour was being done “sneakily,” adding: “It’s a type of fearmongering is what it is, and playing on people’s insecurities, but it really has no place in my Burnaby.”
Katrina Chen, who is running for the school board on incumbent candidate Mayor Derek Corrigan’s Burnaby Citizens Association (BCA) team, told The Province she got wind of the rumour, too, but laughed at first because it was so outrageous.
One theory is that the root of the rumour goes back to a contentious 2011 election issue in Burnaby, when the schools put forth a policy aimed at eradicating homophobia. Burnaby Now explains: “Parents’ Voice, a political group formed to oppose the policy, feared the policy would infringe on their rights to educate their children about sexual identification. The group included current BFC candidates Charter Lau, Heather Leung and Helen Ward.”
Hancott emphasizes that the BFC is not Parents’ Voice, and that sexual preference is not an issue in the current campaign.
Featured image: Child receiving injection via Shutterstock