Spencer Chandra Herbert is proud to serve as the Member of the Legislature for the West End and Coal Harbour and represents our beautiful community in Victoria. Spencer was first elected to the BC Legislature in October 2008 as the MLA for Vancouver-Burrard and re-elected to serve as the first MLA for Vancouver-West End in May 2009 and May 2013.
Spencer served as a Vancouver Park Board Commissioner from 2005-2008 and his achievements include initiating the first of many fundraising drives to restore storm-damaged Stanley Park and helping improve environmental sustainability at parks throughout the city. He was instrumental in the improvements to Nelson Park in the West End, and Emery Barnes Park in Yaletown.
Spencer was the associate producer of the United Nations World Urban Festival, and has worked professionally in the arts and culture industry for many years. He has been a facilitator and lecturer with Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, Qmunity and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Spencer lives in the West End with his partner Romi Chandra Herbert, a Community Developer. Spencer graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University. Spencer enjoys hiking in BC’s great outdoors, biking to get around, and art for the soul. He also tries to garden when he’s got the time.
List of Accomplishments
- Keeping St Paul’s Hospital in the West End: Spencer worked with community members and groups to convince the BC Liberals to halt plans to move it out of downtown Vancouver. Spencer’s questions to Kevin Falcon, led the then Health Minister to agree that major capital dollars need to be invested in the hospital in order to ensure it is revitalized and can continue to serve the West End and downtown core. Spencer is currently working with Providence Health Care, the St. Paul's Hospital Foundation, and the wider community to further this goal.
- Opened first shelter ever in the West End: Spencer pulled together a coalition of community groups here in the West End to work with the City in order to find an ideal location for a shelter, and to press the province for resources to get it open. These efforts succeeded and the West End has had a shelter operating over the last two winters. Spencer continues to speak out about the need to address the root causes of homelessness and has participated in the Vancouver Homeless count for the past three years.
- Pushed for the aggressive combating of Hate Crimes: After much advocacy to the Attorney General, Spencer successfully lobbied to have the policy changed so that attacks which appear to be motivated by hate must be prosecuted as such. Previously it was up to the prosecutor’s discretion and in a number of cases, including Aaron Webster's, this was not done.
- Preventing homophobia in schools: Spencer has consistently pressed the Education Minister to ensure that homophobia and other forms of discrimination are not tolerated in our schools, and that every school district ensures it is taking steps to support and celebrate the diversity of our kids, and youth. Unfortunately the BC government has not acted on his recommendations, however Spencer continues to work with school boards that are showing leadership on this issue and is hopeful that progress is being made.
- Assisting tenants fighting unfair evictions: Spencer has worked with and advocated for tenants facing unfair evictions and massive rent increases. He assisted residents of the Seafield and Emerald Terrace buildings who both faced evictions and were successful in their fight to remain in their homes. Spencer and his constituency office staff work on a daily basis to assist tenants who are threatened with unlawful eviction or unfair practices.
- Long Term Tenant Protection Act: Spencer’s Private Members Bill, introduced in 2008 and amended in 2010, aimed to end the practice of landlords seeking massive rent increases above the yearly allowable amount, and in turn forcing tenants to leave or pay much higher rent.
- Anti-scalping legislation: In 2009, Spencer introduced a Private Members Bill that would make it illegal for Ticketmaster to resell tickets on its own partner websites at much higher prices thereby gouging ticket sellers.
- Advocating for Wild Salmon: In 2010, Spencer introduced a Private Members Bill to have the pacific salmon declared as BC’s provincial fish, in order to champion the protection of this threatened species. He participated in the Paddle for Wild Salmon from New Westminster to Musquem territory in order to raise the profile about this issue.
- Restoration of gaming grants: Spencer lead the fight in the legislature to get the BC Liberals to honour agreements they had signed with thousands of charities who receive multi-year gaming funds. After three days of outcry and debate the government folded and gave $20 million back to charities. Spencer also worked with a coalition of arts groups to get $7 million restored to the BC Arts Council.
- Promoting the West End business district: Spencer currently sits on the West End Business Improvement Association’s Marketing Committee and is working to ensure that local businesses are promoted and marketed to the benefit of our community.
- Assisting constituents: Spencer and his constituency office help constituents on a daily basis with a variety of problems including: finding housing for homeless residents, getting seniors rental assistance or into supportive housing, and helping people navigate their way through the medical system and MSP.