Former city councillor Jim Green quietly battling cancer

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      Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson's office has issued a statement that former Vision Vancouver councillor Jim Green has cancer:

      "As you may have heard Jim has been quietly battling cancer over the past while. The cancer is spreading and Jim is spending all of his time with his family and working on various exciting projects. This is obviously a difficult time for all of us and we ask that the media respect our privacy in these personal matters."

      Green, a former social-housing developer and a longtime Downtown Eastside Residents Association activist, ran for mayor twice, narrowly losing to Gordon Campbell in 1990 and to Sam Sullivan in 2005.

      A former U.S. draft dodger, Green was elected to council in 2002 in the COPE landslide, which resulted in former chief coroner Larry Campbell becoming mayor.

      In one term of office, Green promoted large-scale rezonings, such as the Capitol Residences on Seymour Street and the Woodward's project in the Downtown Eastside, as well as the Canada Line and the addition of slot machines at Hastings Park.

      Green's greatest legacies to the city include the 200 units of nonmarket housing and the W2 community media arts centre at Woodward's.

      In the 1990s, Green worked closely with former NDP premier Glen Clark, creating the money-losing Four Corners Bank for low-income people in the Downtown Eastside. It was closed by the B.C. Liberal government.

      Over the years, Green has been a strong supporter of the arts, including Vancouver Opera, and as an elected politicians, he brought singers and musicians to Vancouver City Hall to perform before council meetings.




      Feb 16, 2012 at 11:30am

      I am so sorry to hear of this. He certainly fought the good fight and worked hard for the people of Vancouver. Here's to one of the good ones.

      Roger Howie

      Feb 16, 2012 at 11:39pm

      Charlie, I'm a little surprised, I thought you may have done a bigger research on Jim Green before writing something.
      He has initiated or been involved with developing $80 million, dollars worth of social housing within the city and that was a quote from before Woodwards. 1983? if I am correct he jumped in blindly to develop the first DERA COOP on Alexander Street. There is the JIM GREEN RESIDENCE on Powell, all the years you have been running around town as a Reporter and Editor, I thought you would have noticed that one. Obviously several others I am not aware of. It is always a shame to see the Four Corners Bank slammed, because they set a financial time frame that it had managed to stuck very close to, for breaking even and going into the black. Jim and the board had a program of micro-loans 10 years before the UN began doing so. The payback rate on those loans was a higher percentage than commercial banks. The bank was possibly closed because Gordon Campbell just didn't like it.
      A fact that doesn't seem to be very public,; the UN once scooped him off, (much to his surprise to Barcelona) to address an international housing conference. Speaking of conference centres, he and Mike Farnworth were part of a team back in 1999 that laid the groundwork and ideas for our new conference centre. I think it would be a GREAT thing to let the public who rely on publications such as yours to learn about having such a striving, attempting to do the positive individual amongst us, a man who has and is still accomplishing lots of good things for the city. Feeling truly appreciated may help him in his current struggle.

      wouldn't put it here...

      Feb 17, 2012 at 10:30am

      Jim Green has been a serious player in the fight for human rights and access to stability for the poorest, and his background is all over the net and in books like Bodyheat about Woodward's And yes, a building with his name.

      From the Globe and Mail:
      "Scratch almost any worthy initiative on the Downtown Eastside, and you’ll find Jim Green was there at the beginning.

      The long list includes: more than a thousand units of social housing, BladeRunners, United We Can, the University of B.C.’s pioneering program to bring university courses to residents of the DTES, the Portland Hotel Society, and of course, most recently, the salvation and dramatic transformation of the old Woodward’s Building into an urban marvel. "

      Probably best for the Straight to pay for staff to type "Jim Green Vancouver" and hit 'search'. BUT maybe the girls at the back of the paper just aren't working hard enough to pay higher ad rates. The world ain't perfect huh?


      Feb 17, 2012 at 10:39am

      @Charlie Smith: Could you not find a better photo of Mr. Green to run along with this sad news story?

      R U Kiddingme

      Feb 17, 2012 at 1:03pm

      Screw Cancer... best of luck to you Jim Green and thank you from a proud Vancouverite


      Feb 17, 2012 at 7:39pm

      I concur with R U Kiddingme.
      Jim I miss seeing and chatting with you at the Yale but am looking forward to seeing you again at the new and improved Yale, you're a real cool guy.

      r. Howie

      Mar 31, 2012 at 4:20am

      Interestingly I see Jim accredited with the HUM 101 program at UBC. Personally knowing the two graduate students who actually put the program together, inspired by the Climente course, begun by Earle Shorris in NYC, they would be proud to share credit with Jim Green, as he became very involved and supportive. Am Johal and Alison Donat, working in the Student Development Office of UBC began the HUM 101 program and it originally was not exclusively for DTES'ers. Am Johal has continued to work in developing programs for general public accessibility and other valuable civic functions, has even taken a run at public office.