My sister Bowinn and I are the daughters of two Taiwanese immigrants: My mother Jen, and my father Chris. My parents worked hard to be able to raise my sister and I in a middle-class family - harder than I would say made them happy.
We grew up in Vancouver's east side. Bowinn had a colourful childhood and my parents considered her a rebellious teenager. Soon after Bowinn graduated from highschool our parents divorced and she moved out on her own.
After the first year of her university career, Bowinn enrolled with the Canadian Armed Forces in their Regular Officers Training Program. She left a year later when she realized that she wanted to contribute to her community in other ways, in particular by being more involved in her engineering community.
Bowinn became a popular student politician during her time at UBC and is still considered one of the UBC Engineering Undergraduate Society's most influential Presidents. "The Bowinn Ma Award", created in 2008 in her honour, continues to be awarded to a current student each year by the student union. The award is only one of two to have ever been named after a student leader in EUS history! Bowinn is still involved with her Alma Mater and is often invited back to speak at events and provide mentorship for current students.
In 2015, I proudly supported Bowinn as she advocated strongly for the striking down of Bill C-51, the misleadingly titled "Anti-Terrorism Legislation" experts warned would represent a dangerous erosion of rights in Canada. She fiercely challenged Justin Trudeau on his position on Bill C-51 and was one of the primary organizers of the Stop Bill C-51 [United We Stand] Rallies on April 18, 2015, which drew participation from 33 cities across Canada, as well as its corresponding rally in Vancouver. Her work in opposition to Bill C-51 also included launching a cross-Canada letter-writing campaign, which engaged thousands of participants from Vancouver alone.
Following the passing of Bill C-51 her efforts transitioned to a non-partisan Get Out the Vote Campaign for the 2015 Federal Election and then again to support groups in the fight for affordable housing.
Today her passion for social justice carries her further into the world of politics. I am so proud of my sister! I know no one else with as much integrity and heart. Her selfless fight for the greater good has been an inspiration to me, and I have undoubtedly become a better person because of her. It is with great honour that I am able to support my sister in her campaign as the developer for her website.
Bowinn Ma challenges Justin Trudeau in March 2015 over his position on Bill C-51. Though described as a student by Peter Mansbridge, Bowinn Ma was not a student at the time: She was visiting UBC to campaign against Bill C-51.