This Friday, October 22 at 7pm, my partner Penny and I are hosting a virtual screening of The Rankin File: Legacy of a Radical, a documentary film about my hero and mentor, Harry Rankin. You can register to join us and see this wonderful film here, which will be followed by a political panel and discussion.
Harry is responsible for who I am and where I am today. He shaped my political orientation, wrote a letter that got me admitted to UBC law school in 1980, and later hired me as an articling law student in 1983.
Harry ran for Vancouver City Council 13 times before being elected in 1966. Two years later, in 1968, he co-founded the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE). Once elected to Council, he became a force like I’ve never seen before. He was consistently re-elected at the very top of the polls. I still remember attending City Council in the late 1970s as part of a lobbying campaign for improving door-to-door transportation for those unable to use public transit due to a disability. (This service was later to become HandyDart .)
His ability to debate was jaw-dropping. He was able, outnumbered 10 to one by the rest of Council, to use oratory, humour and logic to win many votes.
Harry was also an internationalist in the best sense of the term. He had a concern for, and an awareness of, many developing world causes.
Since Harry’s death in 2002, he continues to be remembered in publications such as The Tyee, Jewish Virtual Library, Vancouver Sun, and the Canadian Encyclopedia. In his honour, the BC Chapter of the Canadian Bar Association established the Harry Rankin, QC Pro Bono Award to recognize outstanding contributions by a member of CBABC in the area of pro bono work, in recognition of Harry’s immense contribution in supporting access to justice for the poor.
I urge you to register now to attend the screening of this documentary. The film will be followed by a discussion featuring an incredible panel that includes Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Vancouver COPE City Councillor Jean Swanson, and Teresa Alfeld, who directed the film.
I hope to see you Friday!
Join me every 4th Friday for a free monthly online series of progressive film nights and panel discussions. The next event is Friday October 22 at 7pm: The Rankin File: Legacy of a Radical. Register here for the series, or get more info at https://www.timlouis.ca/fireside/
Daily atmospheric CO2 [Courtesy of CO2.Earth]
Latest daily total (Oct. 19, 2021): 414.23 ppm
One year ago (Oct. 19, 2020): 411.38 ppm
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