“We need fundamental change at City Hall. I bring not only a strong understanding of the key issues facing Vancouverites but, having been on Council and on Park Board, I know how municipal government works – I can really ‘hit the road running’.” Tim Louis
Tim is a lawyer. He articled under former City Councillor and lawyer Harry Rankin. If you ask Tim why he became a lawyer he says “My intention was to provide affordable legal services on matters of everyday concern.” Many of Tim’s clients are people who would not have the resources to hire a lawyer. Tim lives in Kitsilano with his longtime partner, Penny.
Tim was elected as a COPE Park Board Commissioner [1990-1996] and COPE City Councillor [1999-2005]. Tim was known for his pointed questions on issues of social justice. Many of the issues he worked on then are still unresolved today. Tim:
-helped end special perks for Park Board Commissioners; convinced the Board to reallocate this money to children’s programs. The current board re-instituted paid dinner on board meeting nights.
-convinced the Park Board to adopt new policy restricting the Vancouver Aquarium’s ability to import whales. Issues of wildlife in captivity at the Aquarium continue.
-was the leading force in City Council developing an Ethical Purchasing Policy and a Food Policy Council. Today, food security is a top issue for Vancouver.
-as Chair of the City’s Finance Committee, prevented shifting of taxes from business property owners onto residential property owners. How the City spends its money is at the base of most City Hall decisions – from addressing homelessness to assuring support for the arts.
-was a vocal critic of the 2010 Olympic Games and of public-private partnerships, e.g. the RAV line, but always in the spirit of protecting community priorities.
-took, and continues to take, a public stance on international causes: an open critic of the U.S blockade of Cuba, the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the strip mining by Canadian companies in Latin America. Tim strongly supports COPE’s commitment to make Vancouver a Sanctuary City.
An active COPE member for 30 years, Tim is currently in his second term as Co-Chair, chair of the Council Caucus, and member of the Communications, Finance and Fundraising committees.
Tim was a frontline activist from early on and continues today:
-While a law student, Tim co-founded the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities. He co-founded HandiDart – custom transit service for people with disabilities. Three years ago, he co-founded ACE [Association of CSIL Employers] – disabled individuals who hire personal-care attendants with government funding. ACE lobbied the government obtaining significant increase in wages of personal-care attendants. Tim is co-Founder and spokesperson for HandiDart Riders Alliance – an advocacy group for improved transportation service for people with disabilities.
-Other previous community commitments include: co-founder and board member of Public Interest Advocacy Centre – a non-profit providing legal services on behalf of consumer interests; Board Member, Vancouver Public Library where as Chair, he advocated successfully for improved services for visually impaired patrons and for citizens for whom English is a second language; 12 years on the Board of VanCity Credit Union, where, along with the rest of the board, he worked to establish Canada’s first Ethical Mutual Fund, to found the VanCity Community Foundation, and to establish VanCity Enterprises, a subsidiary for affordable, accessible housing; board member of Greater Vancouver Community Services Society, a Society that led the way in consumer-empowered home support service.
Today Tim practices law full-time and is heavily involved in politics and community activism as the above record shows.