Tim Stevenson

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This article is about the Canadian politician and United Church clergyman. For the businessman and Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, see Tim Stevenson (Lord Lieutenant).
Tim Stevenson
MLA for Vancouver-Burrard
In office
Preceded by Emery Barnes
Succeeded by Lorne Mayencourt
Vancouver City Councillor
Assumed office
Personal details
Born 1945
West Vancouver
Political party New Democratic
Vision Vancouver
Spouse(s) Gary Paterson
Residence Vancouver, British Columbia
Occupation Minister
Religion United Church of Canada

Tim Stevenson (born in Vancouver, British Columbia) is a Canadian politician and United Church clergyman. He is currently an elected member of the Vancouver City Council as a member of Vision Vancouver. He is one of two openly gay city councillors in Vancouver, along with Ellen Woodsworth.


Stevenson received a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, a M.A., Spirituality from Holy Names College in Oakland, California and a M.Div from the Vancouver School of Theology. In 1992 he was ordained by the British Columbia conference of the United Church of Canada. Although there were already United Church ministers at the time who had revealed their homosexuality, they had only done so some time after their ordinations, when they had already ministered at one or more churches—Stevenson was the first openly gay person to be ordained by the United Church of Canada. In 1993 he was hired as the minister of St. Paul's United Church in Burnaby, after being first promised a job at a church in Winnipeg and then rejected due to controversy about his homosexuality within the congregation. He also served as a board member at the First United Church in the Downtown Eastside for 10 years.

Stevenson has worked in the Philippines and South Africa. In 1991 he was a Canadian representative at the African National Congress conference in Durban when Nelson Mandela was elected ANC party president. In 1994 he was an international observer in South Africa's first election after the fall of apartheid. Also in South Africa he has worked with the Black Liberation Gay and Lesbian Movement and other organizations that focus on social injustices.

Political career[edit]

In the 1996 provincial election he was elected in Vancouver-Burrard to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia as a member of the British Columbia New Democratic Party. He served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Health and between 2000-2001 he held a cabinet position as Minister for Employment and Investment. He was the first openly gay provincial cabinet minister in Canada.[1] In the 2001 provincial election he lost to his BC Liberal opponent, Lorne Mayencourt.

In 2002 he was elected to the Vancouver City Council in British Columbia. As a member of the city council and board member of Tourism Vancouver, he best known for modernizing Vancouver's entertainment and tourism industry. When gay marriage became legalized in British Columbia, Tim Stevenson performed the first legal gay weddings in the province.[1]

Stevenson was a candidate in the 2005 B.C. provincial election, again in Vancouver-Burrard. Conflicting results throughout election night had both Stevenson and Mayencourt declared the victor at different times, and the uncertainty continued for several weeks. In the official count of regular ballots, Stevenson was declared the winner by 17 votes. However, when absentee ballots were counted on May 30, 2005, Mayencourt was declared the winner by a margin of 18 votes. After a judicial recount, Mayencourt was declared the victor by 11 votes.

Stevenson won re-election as a city councilor in the 2005 Vancouver municipal election as a member of Vision Vancouver, and again in the 2008 election[2] and the 2011 election.

Drunk driving conviction[edit]

In May 2006 Stevenson drove home from a neighbourhood bar after having consumed 3.5 pints of beer over 2–3 hours.[3][4] He was stopped by police and found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.14 mg, almost double the legal limit.[4] On July 16, 2007, Stevenson pleaded guilty to impaired driving.[3]

Open microphone controversy[edit]

In July 2010, Stevenson, Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councilor Heather Deal were caught on an open microphone mocking and laughing at public speakers at a council session who had called for greater transparency in the selection of a 12-person committee that will advise council on rezoning.[5][6][7] The tirade became a YouTube sensation,[6] which led to a public apology.[6] Representatives of the speakers felt that the profanity was not the issue, but the disrespect of citizens who were attempting to voice their concerns.[6][8][9][10]


Stevenson's partner for 30 years has been Gary Paterson, another minister of the United Church of Canada.[11] When same-sex marriage became legal in Canada, Stevenson and Paterson were married. In 2012, Paterson was elected as the first openly gay Moderator of the United Church of Canada.[11]

Electoral record[edit]

British Columbia general election, 1996: Vancouver-Burrard
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Tim Stevenson 10,646 49.70% −1.23 $43,534
Liberal Duncan Wilson 7,975 37.23% +2.00 $50,880
Progressive Democrat Laura McDiarmid 1,014 4.73% $1,072
Green Imtiaz Popat 563 2.63% +0.32 $155
Reform Aletta Buday 671 3.13% $100
Libertarian John Clarke 458 2.14%
Natural Law Wayne A. Melvin 93 0.43% $100
Total valid votes 21,420 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 257 1.19%
Turnout 21,677 62.68%

British Columbia general election, 2001: Vancouver-Burrard
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Lorne Mayencourt 11,396 48.11% +10.88 $46,939
New Democratic Tim Stevenson 7,359 31.07% −18.63 $45,493
Green Robbie Mattu 3,826 16.15% +13.52 $1,029
Marijuana Marc Emery 906 3.82% $394
Unity Gregory Paul Michael Hartnell 290 1.15%
Independent Boris Bear 136 0.57% $157
People's Front Joseph Theriault 40 0.17% $57
Independent Rhinoceros Helvis 25 0.11% $100
Total valid votes 23,688 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 123 0.52%
Turnout 23,811 63.67%

British Columbia general election, 2005: Vancouver-Burrard
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Lorne Mayencourt 12,009 42.16% −5.94 $161,227
New Democratic Tim Stevenson 11,998 42.12% +11.04 $67,587
Green Janek Patrick John Kuchmistrz 3,698 12.98% −3.21 $8,237
Libertarian John Clarke 388 1.36% $100
Work Less Lisa Voldeng 170 0.60% $1,855
Sex John Gordon Ince 111 0.39% $100
Democratic Reform Ian McLeod 82 0.29% $400
Platinum Antonio Francisco Ferreira 27 0.09% $100
Total Valid Votes 28,483 100%
Total Rejected Ballots 196 0.69%
Turnout 28,679 51.95%


  1. ^ a b Leyne, Les (August 10, 2003). "Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll? Blame Canada". Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  2. ^ "Election summary", City of Vancouver archives, Accessed September 24, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Vancouver councillor pleads guilty to drinking and driving". CBC News. July 16, 2007. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  4. ^ a b "Vision Vancouver Coun. Tim Stevenson apologizes for drunk driving". Georgia Strait (Vancouver, Canada). 2007-07-16. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  5. ^ "Profanity-laced tirade by Mayor Robertson ruffles feathers", 24 Hours, July 12, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d "'There is no excuse,' says mayor", Vancouver Province, July 14, 2010. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  7. ^ "Robertson reveals himself as ignorant, arrogant", Vancouver Province, July 14, 2010. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  8. ^ "Mayor's gaffe prompts apology", Globe and Mail, July 12, 2010. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  9. ^ "Robertson and the F-word", Victoria Times Colonist, July 14, 2010. Retrieved 2014-05-22
  10. ^ "Vancouver mayor's gaffe slows city trust-building efforts", Vancouver Sun, July 14, 2010. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  11. ^ a b "Vancouver reverend elected United Church of Canada's first openly gay moderator". Ottawa Citizen. August 20, 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 

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