Bruce Yorke: Champion of Tenants

Posted by Howard on Dec 15, 2015

Bruce Yorke was a prominent Vancouver social activist during the latter half of the 20th C and a long-time Vancouver city councillor. Born into a comfortable middle-class family in Vancouver on Dec 10, 1924, Yorke was an excellent student and athlete. At UBC he studied economics and played for the Thunderbirds basketball team. A member of the Communist Party of Canada, he long served on the Trade Union Research Bureau and helped found the left-wing Vancouver municipal party, The Committee of Progressive Electors (COPE.) As a candidate for COPE, he was elected to Vancouver City Council five times. He spoke out against the treatment of Japanese Canadians during WWII, advocated for peace during the 1950s, opposed the Columbia River Treaty during the 1960s and tirelessly advocated for tenants, homeowners and underprivileged. On city council he fought for affordable housing, public transit, and spearheaded Vancouver centennial celebrations in 1986. He was also one of the people most responsible for limiting the proliferation of freeways in during the 1970s and 1980s. Bruce Yorke died after a long illness on Dec 5, 2015.