COPE candidate Tim Louis says he's just as colourful as Rafael “RJ” Aquino
Tim Louis says that underneath his “white, pasty, boring…visual appearance” he’s actually a “person of colour”.
“I’m as red as Fidel, I’m as orange as Adrian Dix, and I’m as green as David Suzuki,” Louis told the Straight in a phone interview in the run-up to the September 18 nomination meeting of the Coalition of Progressive Electors.
The Vancouver lawyer and former two-term COPE councillor made the comment partly in jest and somewhat in exasperation over yet another endorsement for budding Filipino Canadian politician Rafael “R J” Aquino, who, like himself, is running for a spot on the party’s three-person slate for council.
Louis, who has also served two terms as a park commissioner, guessed what outgoing COPE park commissioner Loretta Woodcock told the Straight about who she is supporting as the party’s council nominees.
In a phone interview, Woodcock said that she’s backing incumbent councillors Ellen Woodsworth and David Cadman. For the third slot, she picked Aquino, a novice in civic politics.
”We need some diversity and youth at council level,” Woodcock said. “And that would be R J Aquino.”
In an interview with the Straight in June, Woodsworth, who defeated Louis in the 2008 COPE nomination for the second and last slot in the COPE council slate in that year’s civic election, described Aquino as an “excellent candidate”.
Louis considers himself as the underdog in the nomination battle. “The powers that be would like to see a city council free of a voice that is sometimes outspoken and sometimes committed to providing a voice alternative to the voice of the developers,” he said.
Asked why some people in COPE don’t like him, Louis said: “I know that I’ve always said what I think, thought what I say, and sometimes that ruffles feathers. My strong point is not stroking feathers.”
Considered a protégé of Vancouver-Kensington MLA Mable Elmore, the first Filipino Canadian to win a seat in the B.C. legislative assembly, Aquino is pleased with the endorsements he has received.
He said he has mixed feelings about this Sunday’s contest, which will see six candidates vying for the three slots for council. Aquino told the Straight: “I’m nervous. I feel good. I mean, it’s the first time I’m attending it. Even though I’ve been, I guess, told what to expect, I don’t really know what to expect. But I hope there will be a large turnout.”