Former Vancouver mayor Art Phillips dies

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      One of Vancouver's most popular mayors died today at the age of 82 in Vancouver General Hospital.

      Art Phillips served two terms from 1973 to 1976, a period marked by dramatic progressive change in civic governance.

      As the head of The Electors' Action Movement, Phillips and his council promoted the development of South False Creek into a mixed-income neighbourhood.

      Phillips was also mayor when the city turned Granville Mall into a car-free zone. 

      Phillips formed TEAM with UBC geography professor Walter Hardwick, and both were elected to council in 1968. Once they took control of council from the NPA, they encouraged city planners to seek more community input and focus more attention on environmental concerns.

      TEAM politicians also opposed the development of a freeway into the downtown core—joining a movement that helped preserve Gastown and Chinatown.

      Under the TEAM banner, future NDP provincial politicians Mike Harcourt and Darlene Marzari made it onto council, as did planning professor Setty Pendakur, the first person of South Asian descent elected to any office in Vancouver.

      Phillips hired a young Gordon Campbell as his executive assistant, setting the stage for Campbell's future rise in municipal and provincial politics.

      After Phillips left the mayor's chair, he was elected as the Liberal MP for Vancouver Centre in 1979.

      He became a parliamentarian in the election that led to Progressive Conservative Joe Clark's minority government.

      After Clark's government fell on a budget vote in 1980, Phillips failed to get reelected, losing narrowly to Progressive Conservative Pat Carney.

      Phillips was a successful investment executive, forming the money-management firm of Phillips Hagar & North in 1964. (It's now known as PH&N Investment Services and is part of the RBC group.)

      He is survived by his wife, SFU chancellor Carole Taylor, a former CBC chair and former B.C. finance minister. He had six children, and several grandchildren.

      Art Phillips (left) and Carole Taylor won then-SFU president Michael Stevenson's Distinguished Community Leadership Award in 2010.




      Copy editor

      Mar 29, 2013 at 8:29pm

      Umm. That's UBC professor of geography Walter Hardwick (not Hardwock)...

      doug f

      Mar 29, 2013 at 9:16pm

      a great mayor and a classy man. condolences to Carole and the rest of his family. RIP, Mr. Mayor.

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      Martin Dunphy

      Mar 29, 2013 at 9:19pm

      copy editor:

      Thanks for the catch (and, of course, as a copy editor you know the "o" is next to the "i" on the keyboard; merely a typo).

      Alan Layton

      Mar 29, 2013 at 11:56pm

      I didn't live here when he was mayor but after reading about his legacy I'm impressed.


      Mar 30, 2013 at 10:25am

      Art Philips was a class act. The arrogant anti- democratic buffoons running city hall at the moment could learn some lessons from his legacy.


      Mar 30, 2013 at 10:44am

      Art Philips was a class act. The arrogant anti- democratic buffoons running city hall at the moment could learn some lessons from his legacy.