Jane Shin speaks

Newly elected MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed clarifies her background

Burnaby-Lougheed's recently elected MLA has broken her silence to set the record straight on her background.

Jane Shin, a first-time NDP candidate, secured the Burnaby-Lougheed seat in the provincial election, according to the preliminary results, but after the Liberal party started digging up information about her and questioning her credentials in the final weeks of the campaign, she was largely silent and unavailable to media.

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"I needed some time to lick my wounds, and despite everything that was happening, I needed to stay true to the campaign efforts," Shin told the NOW on Wednesday.

The Liberals, acting on what they called an anonymous tip, started looking into Shin's background and began questioning her credentials as a doctor. Shin graduated from a medical school in the Caribbean, but in some cases, this information was omitted from her biography. The result was a misleading picture that suggested she graduated from UBC with a doctorate of medicine in 2007 and that she had worked as a physician.

"That's a huge mistake. One thing I can clarify right from the get-go is that I earned my MD from Spartan Health Sciences University, which is in St. Lucia in 2007, and I had done my clinical rotations in my third and fourth year at various teaching hospitals, which was Sheffield to Edinburgh and so forth," she said. "There sort of was a translation mistake, . but that was the resu-mé that was submitted to the party, it's the resumé I stand by, it was the resumé that I put in front of the voters."

Yet the biography sent to the NOW by Shin's campaign manager suggests she graduated from UBC and states she's a physician.

"That was one of the things that was unfortunately misleading, and I do want to take responsibility and apologize for that. UBC is where I went for my undergraduate studies," she said.

Shin studied at UBC for about five years, majoring in cell biology and genetics, but didn't finish. When asked why she would omit Spartan Health Sciences University from her bio, Shin said not all of her educational background was listed.

"It was just one of the recommendations I was given, it had nothing to do with politics," she said. "I always list my work experience. But again, it was an old resumé, and there have been mistakes with the bio, and with that said, I do apologize for the confusion that was caused. So that everything is clear, yes, I did attend UBC to finish my prerequisites, in cell biology and genetics, and the school from which I received my MD is Spartan."

Shin also came under fire for using the Dr. title during her campaign. She is not a licensed doctor and never did her residency, however, as someone with an MD, she can use the title.

"Again, I acknowledge there were several misspoken points, there were misquotes and translation errors, but I do want to take responsibility for it, and I do sincerely apologize for the confusion. But it is true that I do have a doctorate degree, and I've always made it very clear that I've found my passion in teaching," she said.

As for election night, Shin was nowhere to be found, but she told the NOW she was knocking on doors up until 8 p.m. in the Forest Grove area.

"All these allegations really came about as relentless attacks. I didn't see (it) coming from the B.C. Liberals. Yes, it was character assassination, and it traumatized me and my family," she said. "It was a tough time, but I am very humbled and grateful for what our team was able to do, and all the support that we've got in the process."

According to the preliminary voting results, Shin won the seat by 315 votes, barely beating Liberal first-time runner Ken Kramer. Shin said she's waiting until next week, when

the final results come in, before she sets up an MLA office.

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