Human rights activist and lawyer Adrienne Smith to join BC NDP as Pride Ambassador at the Vancouver Pride Parade

Premier John Horgan, MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert and BC NDP Pride Chair Morgane Oger also leading delegation.

The BC NDP is proud to welcome human rights activist and lawyer Adrienne Smith as its official Pride Ambassador in the Vancouver Pride Parade.

New this year, the role of Pride Ambassador is a chance for people to recognize the efforts and achievements of local activists and allies in increasing visibility and support for BC’s LGBTQ communities. After a call on social media resulted in more than 100 nominations, the BC NDP invited Smith to be its 2017 Pride Ambassador.

Smith will join Premier John Horgan, MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, and BC NDP Pride Chair and 2017 MLA candidate Morgane Oger at the head of the BC NDP delegation in the Vancouver Pride Parade.

“As Premier, I’m proud to walk with the thousands of people in this parade, along with the the tens of thousands who watch the Vancouver Pride Parade every year” said Premier Horgan. “We’ve come a long way in British Columbia, but there’s still so much more we can do to make our province more inclusive, fair and just. To the LGBTQ community and all others facing challenges, know this: We hear you, we respect you, and we are working harder for you.”

Adrienne Smith is a powerful voice for marginalized people in Vancouver and across British Columbia. As a human rights lawyer, they have litigated on behalf of drug users, prisoners in provincial correctional facilities, and transgender people, and recently settled a BC Supreme Court case which changed provincial prison policy and secured access to opiate replacement therapy for prisoners in BC jails. They have advocated at the municipal and provincial level in support of trans inclusion policies and legislation, and developed a training course for including trans people in the workplace and labour movement for the Canadian Labour Congress.

“It will be an honour to walk at Pride with Adrienne Smith, someone who has done so much for protecting and ensuring dignity for trans people across our province,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End. “For years, I fought in the Legislature to amend the BC Human Rights Code to explicitly include protections for trans people, and the fact that law only passed last year shows how much farther we have to go. I hope our government can work alongside people like Adrienne Smith in making that change happen.”

“Pride parades are fundamentally important because many members of our community are never safe walking down the street,” said Adrienne Smith, BC NDP Pride Ambassador. “It is a day for our trans and queer family to actually feel the support of the broader community literally marching with them. It will be great to see our Premier here supporting that, and saying publicly that the model set by the country beneath us is not the one to follow.”