Vision Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson won't seek reelection

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      One of Vancouver's two longest-serving members of council will not put his name on the ballot later this year.

      Vision Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson, 72, has told Xtra's Robin Perelle that he is not going to seek reelection after five terms.

      "To be honest with you, I made a decision that I wouldn't run again about a year ago," Stevenson said.

      The news came a day after Vision Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson declared that he won't be running again after three terms in office.

      Stevenson and Vision Vancouver councillor Raymond Louie joined council as members of the Coalition of Progressive Electors when its mayoral candidate, Larry Campbell, won a landslide victory in 2002. Since then, they've never lost any subsequent election.

      As a councillor, Stevenson has worked with Robertson and various Vision Vancouver councillors to make the city perhaps the most LGBT-friendly in Canada.

      Stevenson helped get Pride designated as a civic event; he played a major role in the creation of rainbow crosswalks, Jim Deva Plaza, and the Davie Village; and he ensured that an LGBT advisory committee was formed.

      During Vision's rule, the city also persuaded the developer of Burrard Place to create a new community centre for the LGBT community in return for additional density.

      Stevenson is also a member of the Vancouver library board, which has taken several steps to enhance service to the LGBT community, including through the provision of gender-neutral washrooms.

      During his terms in office, Stevenson has also championed allowing tenants to keep pets in their buildings.

      From 1996 to 2001, Stevenson served as the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Burrard. He became the first openly gay cabinet minister in Canada in 2000 when then-premier Ujjal Dosanjh appointed him as the minister of employment and investment. Stevenson lost two subsequent elections to B.C. Liberal Lorne Mayencourt in Vancouver-Burrard, the second one by just 11 votes.

      Prior to entering politics, Stevenson was the first president of Pride UBC and later became the first openly gay minister in the United Church of Canada. His husband, Gary Paterson, is a former moderator of the United Church.

      Stevenson is the second Vision Vancouver councillor to announce that he won't seek reelection. Last year, Coun. Andrea Reimer said that she will also bow out of municipal politics when her term ends in October.

      A former Vision Vancouver councillor, Geoff Meggs, quit last year to become chief of staff to Premier John Horgan.