Friday, 21 October 2011


Yesterday, I spoke in the Legislature about the Purple Letter Campaign:

"A year ago tonight, people from all over the Lower Mainland gathered in Emery Barnes Park in Vancouver. They wore purple, lit candles and remembered the many people who committed suicide as a result of homophobic bullying.

"The theme last year was inspired by Dan Savage's It Gets Better, a response to a string of suicides related to homophobic bullying. This year, two young activists resolved to make it better.

"Their purple letter campaign seeks to collect personal stories about people's experiences with homophobia in schools, put them in purple envelopes and deliver them to the provincial government and the Ministry of Education.

"For the past three months, Ryan Clayton and Kaitlin Burnett have been travelling around British Columbia speaking in rural and urban communities and connecting with British Columbians, asking them to share their experiences about the realities, positive and negative, of life in British Columbia for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people and their friends, families and supporters.

"Many of these stories have been published on their blog, These stories are incredible, ranging from inspiring to tragic, humorous and powerful to lighthearted and insightful. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage the provincial government to continue working to make sure that gay, lesbian and bisexual and transgendered students are safe in our schools.

"I have a purple letter box in my constituency office, and I will join Ryan and Kaitlin tonight in Emery Barnes Park. Every child deserves to feel safe and respected, and student safety is a top priority. That's why we have established provincial codes of conduct in B.C. schools, and we look forward to continuing to ensure that all types of this bullying approach has been eliminated in all our schools.

"The purple letters are a call to each and every one to make British Columbia the leader against homophobic and transphobic bullying in every part of our province and, frankly, honourable members, in each of our ridings."

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  1. "Every child deserves to feel safe and respected"; this SHOULD include Ayn and other children seized illicitly by the Ministry. Please, for G*D'S SAKE, help this girl and put an end to the torture and torment ... 5k people and growing are joining the cause: this is NOT good for anyone, politically OR humanly. Thanx Linda oxo

  2. Dear Madam,
    I agree that "Every child deserves to feel safe and respected". Unfortunately, I know of a child who feels neither safe NOR respected. Her name is Ayn Van Dyk and she was taken from her loving home erroneously on June 16, 2011 by BC MCFD. Although the ministry has conceded that Ayn was not abused by her parents, they continue to hold her against her will (she has escaped twice - the last time naked and in the streets).

    Her father knows that given Ayn's autism, a graduated return or interim visits would be devastating to her trust and well-being. His heart is broken and he has been fighting ceaselessly since the day she was taken. He desperately wants his child safe at home where she belongs. In spite of the offer of expert testimony to back up the fallacy of graduated return for autistic children, the Ministry CONTINUES to press for this.

    PLEASE look into this case of gross injustice and what amounts to child abuse at the hands of MCFD, (mental distress, drugging, etc). Her story can be read at

    You want parents to trust you and seek help if they are overwhelmed? If this is BC's idea of helping a parent that THEY perceive to be overwhelmed, then I am sincerely glad that I - and my autistic children - live in Ontario. Yes, your province's reputation toward families is getting to be known globally now and it does NOT look good.