The Richmond Community Coalition’s slogan of “harmony, balance, action” may have cost them votes, according to Grace Tsang, who ran for school trustee.
Tsang attributes her loss to a single issue–SOGI 123, the sexual-orientation and gender identify policy aimed at creating a safe environment for all students.
“People see it as one issue, it’s either pro or anti-SOGI. We are moderate people. We understand that the public has told us that the consultation wasn’t perfect, but we still respect what happened, and we would support the implementation,” Tsang said.
Tsang finished in 13th place, with 8, 978 votes.
As early as 9:45 p.m. Saturday, only Chak Au remained on the board for the RCC, and people began leaving the RCC campaign headquarters beside the Tim Horton’s on Alderbridge Way.
SOGI 123 is a hotly-debated issue all over the province, but it seemed to be more conflicted in Richmond, said Strathcona resident Aron Tegenfeldt, the brother-in-law of candidate Harv Puni.
“Politics in Richmond are a little bit more conservative than in East Vancouver, and so it’s been interesting to watch the difference,” Tegenfeldt said.
He believes that there’s more disagreement among Richmond residents regarding SOGI 123, in comparison to other municipalities.
“Here (in Richmond), there’s a much broader conservative base over different populations, whereas in East Vancouver, it’s a little bit more unified.”