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Parents' Voice vows to carry on
Despite not electing any candidates to the school board, Burnaby Parents' Voice was pleased with the result Saturday, in which its five candidates earned a total 14.5 per cent of the vote.
Candidate Gordon World said it was challenging going up against the "well-oiled machine" that is the Burnaby Citizens' Association (BCA), which swept all civic seats and received 53.9 per cent of all school board votes, but considering Parents' Voice only started up about three months ago, he was heartened by the result.
Parents' Voice was formed out of opposition to the school district's adoption of an anti-homophobic bullying policy last spring.
"If [the BCA] weren't in a panic mode I don't think we'd have the mayor, who probably doesn't know Mr. Lau from a hole in the ground, launching a personal attack against him just days before the election," World said.
He was referring to media reports in which Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan raised the connection between Parents' Voice candidate Charter Lau and groups that have made anti-Muslim comments and posted a video with explicit content ostensibly opposed to child pornography.
World credited vote-splitting for the BCA's victory more so than the BCA's contention that the views of Parents' Voice galvanized support for the incumbent trustees.
"It just goes to show you there's growing discontent with the way the BCA is running things."
He noted his party's top vote-getter, Helen Ward, received more than 7,000 votes. She finished 10th and more than 6,100 votes behind the BCA's Harman Pandher, who took the seventh and final trustee's spot.
World noted the party plans to launch hate crimes complaints, citing defaced Parents' Voice election signs, and online comments as forums where the party has suffered "attacks" for its views.
Nevertheless, he said the party will carry on.
"Any issues that undermine the parents as the primary authority of kids we will continue to press forward."