Raymond Louie and his Chinese-Canadian supporters. Todd Wong (me) is on the far left. Dr. Kerry Jang (5th from right) will be running for Vancouver city council . photo Bill Keay Vancouver Sun click here
Yesterday, I was one of a dozen community leaders invited for a photo with Raymond for the Vancouver Sun. We met at the Chinese Cultural Centre, beneath the large Chinese arch. This was the exact site where I first met Raymond in 2002, when he joined Larry Campbell, for Mike Harcourt's endorsement of Campbell for Vancouver Mayor. The rest is history. Campbell became Mayor. Louie became city councilor.
When I arrived, I was warmly greeted by Dr. Kerry Jang, who will also be running as a Vision candidate for city council. Last year, Kerry won the BC Community Achievement Award, for all the community work he has done in the medical and mental health fields. He will be a strong member of Raymond's team.
The dozen people that came out represent the backbone of the Vancouver Chinatown community. They are leaders of the clan and business associations such as the Chinese Benevolent Association, the Chinatown Merchants Association, the Chinese Freemasons, and the Chinatown Business Improvement Association,
Also there was James Chu of the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Association, whom I worked with when we created the Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Race in 2003. Raymond was instrumental in helping the TCCA stick handle through the bureaucracy to bring the four Taiwanese dragon boats donated to the City of Vancouver. Raymond was also a “flag grabber” perched on the head of one of the dragon boats for the first demonstration race, where the boats race towards flags. Each team must grab their own flag to help determine the winner.
Vancouver Sun reporter asked me what Raymond would do for Vancouver's arts community.
“I first knew Raymond through his wife Tonya, when she was on the board of the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society. They both understand what arts and culture mean for a multicultural city like Vancouver. This bodes well for our city's future”
Dr. Kerry Jang nodded with me in agreement. I continued.
“Raymond was a big supporter of the Joy Kogawa House campaign, when we came to City Hall (in 2005), appealing to save it from demolition and turn it into a literary and historical landmark for Vancouver and all of Canada.”
“In my other role as a long-time Vancouver Library worker, Raymond was the only person who stepped forward and called for a mediation two weeks into last year's Vancouver Civic Strike. The other municipalities had already settled and it was well known that any settlement would be about the same. After two civic workers' rallies at City Hall, I only saw two councilors come out afterwards to speak to the workers: George Chow and Raymond Louie. The 3 month civic strike was a tremendous waste of Vancouver intellectual and cultural brain trust, by closing the libraries. Small businesses were also affected because they couldn't access the library's databases and other services.”
Raymond Louie is the third candidate to run for the Vision Vancouver mayoralty
nomination. Last month in February, both Allan De Genova and Gregor
Robertson declared their runs for the Vision candidacy. De Genova has
been a two-decade long Vancouver Parks Commissioner under the NPA,
until he was kicked from the caucus by Mayor Sam Sullivan. Robertson is
a first time MLA for Vancouver Fairview since 2005.
Raymond is also a multi-generational Canadian of Chinese ancestry like myself. Soon after he was elected city councilor, we bumped into each other at the Three Pioneer Chinese Canadian Families exhibit at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives. Raymond is descended from or related to H. Y. Louie, while I am the great-great-grandson of Rev. Chan Yu Tan. Both early Vancouver pioneers were featured in the photo exhibit along with Lee Bick.
Read the Vancouver Sun article by Frances Bula: