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Tributes pour in for longtime Vancouver councillor

By Contributor
February 29th, 2012

Former Vancouver councillor, mayoralty candidate and long-time housing activist Jim Green has died following a battle with cancer..

Green died peacefully at home with his family at 6:15 a.m. PST Tuesday, a statement issued by Mayor Gregor Robertson’s office said.

Green was battling a recurrence of the lung cancer he had two years ago, according to a press release issued by Robertson’s office earlier this month.

B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair said, “working people have lost an ally, activist and friend with the passing of Jim Green.”

Gordon Price, SFU’s The City Program director, says Green is another example of the immigrant success story.

“With this American’s arrival, Canada received a remarkable legacy from those who came here at the time of the Vietnam War, and Jim was one of the most remarkable. Maybe one of the best mayors we never had – though his contribution as councillor was substantial enough. “

Bob Rennie, one of B.C.’s most prominent real estate marketers and the recipient of SFU’s 2012 Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award, says:

“I was fortunate to be able to call Jim my friend,” Rennie said. “When I visited him at his apartment at Woodward’s I realized that we were all just small pieces of the larger fabric of Jim’s foresight and perseverance in trying to stabilize the downtown eastside (DTES).

As a Longshoreman and Union Shop Steward, Green defended the rights of working people.  

As a housing activist, he shone the light on Canada’s poorest neighbourhood and was able to unify people in common cause, whether through the Downtown Eastside Residents Association, as a founder of the Portland Hotel Society, or as a driving force for the re-development of Woodward’s.

On Sunday, Green was given the Freedom of the City award by Robertson at an invitation-only celebration at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.



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