Judge says Vancouver candidates can use non-Latin names on the ballot Oct. 15

·1 min read

Vancouver voters heading to polls next month will find 15 candidates’ names on the ballots represented in non-Latin characters, such as Chinese, Persian and Farsi.

The City of Vancouver says in a news release the election will proceed with the names the candidates submitted after provincial court Judge James Wingham ruled it would be “unfair” to proceed with the challenge on such a strict timeline.

On Friday, the hearing was adjourned to an unspecified date sometime after the municipal elections to decide if the city's challenge will be upheld.

Rosemary Hagiwara, the city’s chief election officer, filed a court application this week disputing the 15 candidates' use of non-Latin characters on the ballot when the name they submitted in nomination documents is not their usual name.

Lawyer Bruce Hallsor, who represented NPA council candidates Elaine Allan and Ken Charko in court, says the judge's decision is a victory for his clients.

COPE school board candidate Suzie Mah says she's happy to be allowed to use her Chinese name, but she is concerned this will be an ongoing issue for many candidates in future elections.

Longtime Vision Vancouver school trustee Allan Wong says he didn't lose sleep over the possibility that his Chinese name wouldn't be on the ballot.

Wong says the main focus in the campaign should be on political issues.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2022.

The Canadian Press