Vancouver BC, December 22, 2014 – The Vancouver Non-Partisan Association (NPA) stands by the Caucus decision to expel former school trustees Ken Denike and Sophia Woo from the NPA Caucus and will vigorously defend the NPA and Caucus Chair Elizabeth Ball against a defamation lawsuit filed by the pair last Friday, December 19, 2014.
Denike and Woo were formally expelled from the NPA caucus last June following numerous instances of disregard for the NPA’s caucus code of conduct; a code of conduct previously agreed to and signed by all members of the Caucus. Notably, Denike and Woo had chosen to follow their own course in a variety of matters, without consulting the other members of the caucus, including matters related to the LGBTQ+ community and the updating of the Vancouver school board Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities policy.
On June 13, 2014, Denike and Woo held a news conference at the Flamingo House Chinese Restaurant to announce that Vancouver realtors had expressed concerns to them that the Vancouver school district’s “revised policy on sexual orientation and gender identities could negatively impact enrolment of international students” which would in turn increase the school district’s budget deficits. The NPA Caucus had no foreknowledge of the news conference and only learned of it through the media shortly before it took place. The Caucus expelled Denike and Woo later that day.
On June 17, 2014, the NPA board of directors voted unanimously to support the expulsion of Denike and Woo from the NPA Caucus and announced that the pair would not receive the NPA’s endorsement as candidates in the November 2014 municipal election.