One Sunday in April 2017, an intimate group of 15 met over an Indian brunch in Surrey, to talk about education, healthcare and affordability issues that have become Metro Vancouver’s pain points.

Jen Marchbank, professor Gender Equality at SFU and long-standing member of the Surrey Pride Society, brought everyone together although she had a broken foot – only because she believes in British Columbia’s future with everyone’s dreams fulfilled.

Notable participants were two NDP (National Democratic Party) candidates for the upcoming provincial election – Jinny Sims, the brown lady from Surrey Panorama, and Morgane Oger, a trans community powerhouse advocate from Falsecreek, Vancouver.

The duo talked about stigma and equality, and are leading a political fight for human rights and education.

While their personal stories were very interesting, some other amazing voices were also heard around the huddle:

Morgane Oger, Jinny Sims
NDP Candidates Vancouver False Creek and Surrey Panorama

“I’m a 28 year old who has been working since I was 15, and still not able to afford a house in BC,” Pam Sangha, former Green Party candidate.

“I believe in equality and I’m here because I wish to remove barriers for people with disability,” Azim, a deaf community member communicating in sign language.


“We owe it to people around the world who have fought for democracy – everyone must go and vote,” Charlene Dobie, former Surrey School Board trustee.

“Certain kinds of privilege that are destroying our democracy need to be destroyed,” Annie Ohana, Surrey teacher and youth ambassador at Ya-La Young leaders.

Morgane Oger, Annie Ohana, Jen Marchbank, Cindy Douglas

Jinny Sims

Morgane Oger believes that marginalized communities must stand together to fight stigma. Stigma can be of country of origin, race, gender expression or first nations.

“Each minority, when they come together, do not remain a minority any more – they become a majority,” says Morgane, a transsexual leader who advocated with the current government for LGBT inclusion in BC’s Human Resources code. She pointed out that Vancouver is a safe haven to 50,000 transgender people from a total of 150,000 all over Canada.

“The only thing that’s keeping you away from your dreams is the stupidity of others and fears of your own” school- Morgane’s message to the Trans community.

Morgane Oger and Jinny Sims
NDP Candidates Vancouver False Creek and Surrey Panorama

“We must always raise our hands and hold each other’s hands to protect those who are discriminated against,” says Jinny, a lifelong social justice activist. Jinny was a ten years old Indian girl in England who didn’t know a word of English. She always felt included because she was great at sports, and was oblivious to racism until her final year in high school.

In her final year, Jinny was the head girl sitting on a table with friends when her best friend shocked her by excluding some simple looking fresh off the boat Indian girls. Jinny found herself standing up for the girls and has stood up for the marginalized communities ever since. From an academic English teacher career in England, to her involvement in BC Teachers Union, to her current fight against a system that favours the privileged few, Jinny has never looked back.

2017 marks 100 years since women in BC won the right to vote in provincial elections. Surrey604 appeals to all its readers to go out and vote for what you believe in. People from all over the world have fought for democracy, and we owe it to history to exercise our voting rights.

Ritu Guglani
Ritu loves plain language - the kind you would use in a well-informed conversation with friends. Her writing engages and informs while respecting readers’ time and intelligence. She loves the challenge of making a story come alive. Grow a following of people who talk about your business and recommend your products and services with informative marketing stories to convey your unique ideas to new audiences. Contact Ritu Guglani at guglaniritu6@gmail.com