From France to Morocco, from Morocco to the U.S. and eventually to Canada — uprooting her life and moving abroad was the norm for Morgane Oger before she was 17.
It wasn’t until three decades later, however, that that constant state of flux became hugely problematic. A renoviction from her Kitsilano home, followed by a four-month scramble to find a new digs, are two experiences central to Oger’s recent decision to try and do something about it.
Oger is now running as the NDP candidate for Vancouver-False Creek in next year’s provincial election. The 48-year-old will be formally acclaimed on Sunday, Nov. 27.
“I want to make a change,” she told the Courier in a phone interview. “The perversion of our rental economy is such that no matter where I looked to live, the price was equally exorbitant. It went from exorbitant to outrageous.”
Oger said she was renovicted from her Kitsilano home in April, and only found new accommodations in Coal Harbour — outside of the Vancouver-False Creek catchment area — in July. A single mother of two, Oger said her per-bedroom costs rose by 70 per cent.
Making changes to the Residential Tenancy Act to empower renters is a pivotal point in Oger’s platform. A former Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council chair, she also cites increased funding for public schools, bolstering the small business sector and improving governance as her key talking points.
Policy aside, Oger is also in the running to make history. If elected she will become the first openly transgender MLA in B.C. history.
“When I started with my transgender activism, it was very hard to get allies to stand by my side,” she said. “Yet, the NDP were there and they stayed all along.”
Oger is a member of the Vancouver Board of Education’s Pride Committee, and is chair of the Trans Alliance Society. She also serves on the city’s LGBTQ2+ Advisory Committee.
Born in France, Oger moved to Vancouver in 1983. A University of B.C. grad in engineering, Oger works in the IT sector and owns a marina on the Sunshine Coast.
Vancouver-False Creek was created in 2008 and borne out of parts of Vancouver-Burrard, Vancouver-Fairview, Vancouver-Point Grey and Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. Liberals have held the seat since 2009 when Mary McNeil won that election with 56 per cent of the vote, while current MLA and former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan captured 52 per cent of the vote in 2013, beating out NDP candidate Matt Toner who received 37 per cent of the vote.
The 2017 election is slated for May 9.