Advertisement

Chilliwack B.C. school trustee known for anti-LGBTQ2 comments, gets community hero award

Chilliwack trustee Barry Neufeld has compared gender transitioning to "child abuse" as he rails against the SOGI curriculum now being observed in schools.
Chilliwack trustee Barry Neufeld has compared gender transitioning to "child abuse" as he rails against the SOGI curriculum now being observed in schools. Global News file photo

Controversial Chilliwack B.C. school trustee Barry Neufeld is back in the news again, this time for being honoured with a community hero award.

Neufeld has made headlines in the past for his stance on issues relating to gender identity, transgender people, and SOGI 123.

In May, the Chilliwack School Board censured Neufeld’s Facebook post that linked COVID-19 and transgender rights, and targeted the country’s top doctor.

Click to play video 'B.C. school board trustee apologizes for comments about Canada’s top doctor' B.C. school board trustee apologizes for comments about Canada’s top doctor
B.C. school board trustee apologizes for comments about Canada’s top doctor – May 13, 2020

Read more: Chilliwack school trustee censured over transgender coronavirus conspiracy post

Story continues below advertisement

His post drew condemnation from B.C.’s education minister, Chilliwack’s school board chair, and transgender rights advocates. He later apologized for his comments, including the attack on chief medical health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

Neufeld had claimed that the World Health Organization was “perpetrating fear” over COVID-19 and attacked its backing of transgender-supportive education and the right to access abortion.

He called Tam a “major player in the corrupt World Health Organization” and suggested she has been dishonest with Canadians about her gender.

Neufeld has previously come under fire, namely when he compared gender transitioning to “child abuse” and called gender confusion a “sexual addiction.”

He won his community award, presented by Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl, for “going above and beyond to make our community a better place during the COVID-19 pandemic.” It thanks Neufeld for making a difference in the lives of people who live in the community.

The award presented to Barry Neufeld. Posted on Neufeld’s Facebook page.

In a statement to Global News, Strahl said he started the awards to “encourage members of the community to nominate those who went above and beyond to help and care for others.”

Story continues below advertisement

He said more than 100 people, businesses, and not-for-profits were nominated and he didn’t endorse or oppose any nominations.

Click to play video 'Chilliwack school trustee repeats criticism of LGBTQ curriculum' Chilliwack school trustee repeats criticism of LGBTQ curriculum
Chilliwack school trustee repeats criticism of LGBTQ curriculum – Nov 23, 2017

He said everyone who was nominated received an award, including Neufeld and another school trustee, Willow Reichelt.

“These awards in no way serve to endorse any recipient’s personal views, including those of Mr. Neufeld,” Strahl said in the statement.

Read more: Education minister calls on controversial Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld to resign

However, Elizabeth Beacom, director of the Chilliwack Pride Society, told Global News that presenting an award to someone with a history of anti-LGBTQ2 comments is “not great optics.”

“I think it signifies an acceptance of [Neufeld’s] views coming from our member of parliament, Mr. Strahl,” she said. “I would hope that there would be somebody in his office looking at these nominations as they came in and said, ‘You know, this probably isn’t a great nomination given the history of Neufeld’s comments around the community, around COVID.”
Story continues below advertisement

“It’s disappointing and a little confusing from my perspective within the community just because it’s designed to recognize making the community better and I really feel that Neufeld’s actions are completely the opposite of that.”