Vancouver-Burrard holds the largest Queer vote in one constituency in all of BC. The riding has been represented by an out gay Liberal, Lorne Mayencourt since the last election on May 16, 2001.
Mary Polak, Mayencourt and Campbell (graphic by Rick Barnes,
Photos: Polak - CBC, Mayencourt - Xtra! West
Mayencourt's election was seen at first to be hopeful as he was thought to be a moderate amongst a crowd of redneck Campbell Liberals.
Mayencourt was selected by Premier Campbell to lead a province-wide consultative process on school bullying. Mayencourt's committee, Safe Schools Task Force traveled throughout BC and heard a great deal on the problems being faced by queer youth in our province's schools. The report was a huge letdown for the queer community.
No recommendations made on dealing with homophobia in schools. The report was a total waste of time and money. Nothing in the report has lead to any government action to date. It has been almost two years since the report was published.
Mayencourt is now promising to bring in a private members bill, "the Safe Schools Act. The Act as Mayencourt describes it will outline a "student code of conduct which defines bullying and steps to prevent it."
The act, like the recommendations his traveling committee made will only be guidelines. No school district will be compelled by any law to implement the guidelines and therein lies the problem.The Surrey school district has for years fought to keep anything positive or supportive toward queers out of the schools and they have been pretty successful in doing so. The queer community has been after Mayencourt to get his government to ensure queer students in districts like Surrey are given the care, support and protection from bullying that is available to queer kids in school districts like Vancouver and greater Victoria.
Mayencourt has turned a deaf ear to the queer youth and larger community as he polishes his "yes man" attitude to Premier Campbell. Xtra West, a queer paper in Vancouver reported Mayencourt's enthusiastic support for outspoken homophobe and Surrey School board chair, Mary Polak in last fall's by-election.
Mayencourt even went so far as to attend Polak's campaign headquarters election night and was seen cheering early results showing Polak ahead. As the evening wore on, Polak fell behind suffering a crushing defeat to the NDP. A night Mayencourt should remember well when queers and others vote on May 17 this year. You fooled us more than once Lorne.
You can reach Lorne Mayencourt at:
105-345 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 3B3
Xtra! West Editorial: Dear MLA Mayencourt
Xtra! West Editorial: Please stop embarrasing us
Xtra! West Editorial: NAKED EYE / Province fails gay teens
Info on Mary Polak The Silence on Sex Candidate The Tyee.ca