Peter Ladner (born February 12, 1949) is a former Vancouver city councilor, Metro Vancouver vice-chair and business owner who is currently a weekly columnist at Business in Vancouver newspaper and a regular contributor to crosscut.com, a Seattle-based online news service.
He is the author of The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way we Feed Cities, published by New Society in November, 2011.
From 2009-2011 he was a Fellow at the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue, researching, teaching and organizing public events around the theme Planning Cities as if Food Matters. He has a lifelong interest in growing food. As a city councilor, he worked with the Vancouver Food Policy Council in initiating the city’s program to add 2010 food-producing community garden plots by 2010.
He has more than 40 years of journalistic experience in print, radio and television and is a frequent speaker on business, food, community and sustainability issues.
His paternal grandfather was the founding partner of what has now merged into Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, a prominent Canadian law firm, Peter Ladner grew up in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver. His ascendants also originally settled and gave their name to the community of Ladner, British Columbia. He briefly attended the nearby St. George's School, before graduating from Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island, and proceeding on to the University of British Columbia where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and completed one year of a Master's Degree in Urban Planning.
Ladner worked for the Vancouver Sun as a journalist for parts of two summers while attending UBC. He later worked at newspapers on Vancouver Island and was editor of the Victoria alternative weekly Monday Magazine from 1981 to 1986. He has written for The Globe and Mail, Canadian Business and Saturday Night.
Peter Ladner co-founded the weekly newspaper Business in Vancouver in 1989 and continues as a Business in Vancouver weekly columnist. With a weekly readership of 60 000, Business in Vancouver is branded as Vancouver's leading source of business news, targeted at senior decision-makers. It is responsible for several prominent recognition events including the Top 40 Under 40 awards and the Influential Women in Business awards. Business in Vancouver Media Group also publishes Green Space magazine, which focuses exclusively on sustainability business opportunities, initiatives and challenges.
Ladner is vice-chair of The Natural Step Canada board and the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation board. He previously served on the boards of the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, Leadership Vancouver, the International Centre for Sustainable Cities, the University of British Columbia Alumni Association, New Media BC, the International Association of Area Business Publications, and the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. He participated in the Vancouver City Planning Commission, the capital campaign committee for Vancouver Public Library and the Central Valley Greenway.
Ladner is a long-time environmentalist, healthy living enthusiast, and advocate of the smart city concept of using technology to make government more efficient and effective. He blogs about the urban food revolution at urbanfoodrevolution.com and on issues of sustainability and civic governance in Vancouver and elsewhere on his website.
As a former member of Vancouver City Council, Ladner was a director of TransLink and vice-chair of Metro Vancouver, the Regional District. He has been vice-chair of the Metro Vancouver Sustainable Region Initiative and a member the World Urban Forum Committee. On City Council, he chaired the budget committee and was a member of committees on transportation and traffic and planning and environment. He was also a member of the Vancouver Economic Development Commission.
During his time on Vancouver City Council, Ladner has been a sustainability and liveability advocate on issues such as transportation, green buildings, energy use, and waste reduction. He championed greenhouse gas reduction, setting a goal of making Vancouver carbon neutral by 2030. An avid cyclist, Ladner has been an advocate of a bike sharing program built on the successful model used in cities such as Paris.
On June 8, 2008, Ladner won the Non-Partisan Association's mayoral nomination for the 2008 municipal election, defeating incumbent mayor Sam Sullivan in a surprise upset. He defeated Sullivan by 1,066 to 986 votes, after convincing NPA members that Sullivan would be defeated in the upcoming election. However, he was soundly defeated on November 15, 2008 by Gregor Robertson, the mayoral candidate of Vision Vancouver.
On April 3, 2009, Peter Ladner's sister, Wendy Ladner-Beaudry, was found dead in Pacific Spirit Park, "the victim of an apparent random attack." Wendy was the co-chair of the BC Games Society, "past board member of Sports BC and chair of the KidSport Fund, a national charity set up to help low-income families participate in sport." Peter Ladner stated that despite the tragedy of his sister's murder, Vancouver remains a safe city to live in. In a public statement, Ladner stressed that:
- "Our family, all of us, pledge to work diligently with the police, the neighbours and the wider community to bring this killer to justice and establish the safety of our entire community."
- Peter McKnight, "Let's not hand over our parks to those we fear". Vancouver Sun, April 7, 2009, p.A1
- Doug Ward, "Slain athlete praised for her volunteer work, Vancouver Sun, p.A3
- Ladner speaks out about sister's killing Sunday, April 5, 2009, CBC News