Elaine Allan – City Council Candidate
On September 9, 2022, I registered as a candidate for Vancouver City Council under the NPA Vancouver banner.
Challenging My Right to Use My Chinese Name
A few days later, on September 13, 2022, the Chief Election Officer for the City of Vancouver, Rosemary Hagiwara, filed an application in Provincial Court to challenge my right, and those of my NPA Vancouver colleagues, to use our Chinese names on the ballot for the October 15, 2022 election.
Problematic Court Application by the City of Vancouver
Hagiwara’s court application was fraught with problems from the get-go. Not only did Hagiwara’s court application compel the named parties to appear in court only 48 hours after she filed it, but she also failed to serve all the respondents as required by law.
Appearing in Court Without a Lawyer
As I only had 24 hours’ notice of this court application, I didn’t have time to find a lawyer to represent me, so I attended without legal counsel.
Being Doxxed by City Hall
When I had the opportunity to address the court on September 15, 2022, I spoke about the issue of the NPA Vancouver candidates, myself included, being doxxed by City Hall.
The documents filed by the Chief Election Officer in the court registry showed my home address, personal email address and personal cell phone number. Court registry files are open to the public.
I requested that the court seal the court registry file until the Chief Election Officer provided copies that properly redacted my home address, personal email address and personal cell number.
In other documents which the Chief Election Officer published previously with respect to my candidacy, she redacted my home address, personal email address, and personal cell phone number before publishing the documents.
Female Political Candidates and Safety Issues
There is a good reason for protecting candidates’ personal private information in this way. Female political candidates are particularly vulnerable to harassment – and worse. I was a federal candidate in 2015. At times I was subjected to aggressive behaviour that was sometimes close to physical violence while I was campaigning.
Similarly, we recently saw Deputy Prime Minister Freeland subjected to a vile verbal attack by a goon in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Commenting on the incident, the mayor of Calgary, who is also a woman, spoke publicly of the serious harassment to which she had been subjected.
The night before appearing in court, when I realized what the Chief Election Officer had done, one of my representatives asked the representatives of the Chief Election Officer to provide redacted versions to the court for inspection by the public, rather than the current versions which put our personal private information into the public domain.
The representatives of the Chief Election Officer flatly refused to protect our personal private information as we requested.
Unredacted Copies of my Personal Private Information Available at City Hall
In fact, not only did Hagiwara’s team refuse to provide redacted copies to the court registry, they even said that they had filed unredacted copies available for inspection at Vancouver City Hall. Hagiwara’s lawyers refused to replace those with properly redacted copies for public inspection, as well.
Judge Immediately Ordered Sealing of the Court Documents
I don’t know the law. I am a business executive and not a lawyer. But I assumed that the court would seal the court documents once it heard my plea for help. Sure enough, the presiding judge, once I stated my case that the Chief Election Officer doxxing candidates in this way puts our safety at risk, immediately ordered the court documents sealed until the City of Vancouver could provide properly redacted copies.
Cavalier Attitude Towards Female Candidate Safety
The chief election officer’s cavalier attitude to the privacy and safety of political candidates, especially female candidates, is surprising, even shocking.
Time for a Change at City Hall
If you, like me, believe that Vancouverites need and deserve a more respectful administration at City Hall, please vote for me. My number on the ballot is 145. Advanced polls start on October 1, 2022 in 5 different locations around the city. Please contact me if you have any comments or questions about my experience being doxed by City Hall – email@example.com