Tim Louis is a practicing lawyer who has been actively involved in Vancouver civic politics for over forty years. Tim has lived and worked in Vancouver all his adult life. From his early days as a law student at UBC – during which time he co-founded Vancouver’s custom transit service for people with disabilities [HandyDART], through to his terms as an elected official on both Park Board and City Council, Tim has listened to, and advocated on behalf of, communities across Vancouver.
Tim’s record of achievements demonstrates a commitment to making our city a more inclusive, democratic city …
- In the late 1970’s, Tim was one of the co-founders of the BC Coalition of the Disabled – British Columbia’s only cross-province, cross-disability advocacy organisation. This organisation, which remains vibrant today, is relied upon by both the municipal and provincial levels of government for advice and input on all issues affecting citizens with disabilities including architectural barriers, employment and transportation.
- In the early 1980’s, while still a law student, Tim’s successful lobbying of Translink resulted in the establishment of HandyDART – a door to door, user-run transit service for citizens who have difficulty using the public transit system. The establishment of HandyDART ensured that citizens with disabilities had much improved access to employment, social and leisure activities, and as such were able to participate as equal members of society.
- During his time as a student at UBC’s law school, Tim was one of the founders of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre [PIAC] – a non-profit organisation that provides legal and research services on behalf of consumer interests, and, in particular, vulnerable consumer interests, concerning the provision of important public services.
- In the mid-1980’s, having completed his law articles with the late lawyer, City Councillor Harry Rankin, Tim founded his own law firm. His intention in founding the firm was to provide affordable legal services on matters of everyday concern and to further an agenda of social change in the community at large. Over the last 25 years, Tim’s firm has grown into a very busy practice. Many of Tim’s clients are individuals who would not otherwise have the resources to effectively assert their interests.
Tim’s twelve years as an elected official in Vancouver have given him a wealth of first-hand experience in serving constituents and addressing their needs …
- In 1990, Tim was first elected to the Vancouver Park Board. He was re-elected to a second term three years later in 1993. During his six years as a Park Board Commissioner, Tim helped bring to an end special perks for Park Board Commissioners and convinced the Board to reallocate this money to children’s programmes. Tim listened carefully to the many constituents concerned about whales in captivity, took this issue forward to the Board where he was successful in convincing the Board to adopt a new policy restricting the Vancouver Public Aquarium’s ability to import additional whales.
- In 1999, Tim was elected to Vancouver City Council, together with one other COPE Councillor, Dr. Fred Bass. In 2002, Tim was re-elected to Vancouver City Council as part of a COPE majority. During this term in office, Tim was the leading force in the City adopting an Ethical Purchasing Policy and establishing aFood Policy Council. Tim served as chair of the City’s Finance Committee. As Chair, Tim stood up for residential property owners and the Committee prevented any shifting of taxes off of business property owners on to residential property owners.
Over the years, Tim has served on a number of community boards where he has implemented a progressive agenda. A few examples include …
- First elected in 1985, Tim served for 12 years on the Board of Directors ofVanCity, the world’s largest credit union. Tim worked with the rest of the board on a number of initiatives. These included: establishing Canada’s first ever ethical Mutual Fund – enabling investors with a social conscience to invest in a fund with ethical screens; founding the VanCity Community Foundation – the Foundation partners with local organisations to support a community’s capacity for development through providing grants, and through lending and technical assistance to support; establishing VanCity Enterprises – a development subsidiary on the provision of affordable, accessible housing by balancing commercial, social and urban design factors ensuring long-term community sustainability.
- During the late 1980s, Tim was elected to the Board of Greater Vancouver Community Services Society. It was during his time with the Board that the Society took a leadership role in developing a consumer-empowerment model for providing home support services.
- In 1982 Tim was appointed as a Director to the Board of the Vancouver Public Library. He served as a Director for three years, the final year of which he served as Chair. As Chair, he advocated successfully for improved services for visually impaired library patrons and for citizens for whom English is a second language.
- Finally, Tim has always been an active member of the community. He has been a longtime resident of Kitsilano where he lives with his partner of twenty-six years, Penny Parry. Tim has a longstanding interest in social development in Latin America and is a strong supporter of progressive Latin American groups in Vancouver.
Tim is committed to …
- action, not simply words
- keeping election platform promises
- citizen empowerment
Tim believes Vancouver’s voters want a City Hall free from the control of developers, a City Hall that puts the interests of working people, the unemployed and the underemployed at the top of the agenda.
Tim believes that COPE – the Coalition of Progressive Electors – is the only municipal party which offers a clear alternative to the NPA.