Opinion: There is no space for homophobia and violence in Nanaimo

Opinion: There is no space for homophobia and violence in Nanaimo

I was dismayed to hear of the violent assault of a Vancouver Island University student this week.

Attacking someone because of their sexual orientation is unacceptable and shameful. My heart is with Spencer Frey and his loved ones as he deals with the unfair outcome of someone else’s horrific actions.

It is critical to stand up against bigots and call out hateful rhetoric when we hear it, so we can prevent hate from escalating to violence like this.

I appreciate the countless people in our community who have rallied behind Spencer to make it clear that we will not tolerate homophobia, and the RCMP for acting quickly and continuing to investigate.

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I am glad to see VIU has committed to enhance training, awareness, and allyship. Our New Democrat government has also ensured all 60 school districts are part of the SOGI Educator Network and have inclusive codes of conduct in place to foster understanding and stop discrimination in K-12.

This attack shows there is much more to do to eliminate hate in our communities. We owe it to Spencer and every other person in Nanaimo, and across B.C., that has ever been a victim of hate and discrimination, to take action.

Sheila Malcolmson is the MLA for Nanaimo and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

Sheila MalcolmsonSheila Malcolmson

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