Trevor Loke: Vision's new kid on the block

Screen capture from YouTube.

Vancouver Civic Election 2011: His bio says he’s a hockey player, but these days, it’s hard to imagine that Trevor Loke has any time to spend at the rink.

Apart from holding down his day job as Development and Sustainability Officer at the renowned Dr. Peter Centre, he’s been working hard on the campaign trail as a rookie Park Board candidate on the Vision Vancouver team.

Despite being one of the youngest to run in this year's election, the enthusiastic 22-year-old already has more campaign experience than a lot of first-time Park Board candidates. Loke ran as a Green Party MLA candidate for Surrey-Newton in 2009, and has also spent time working for the BC Legislative Assembly.

Now living with his partner in Vancouver’s West End, Loke is making good use of his political experience and quickly becoming a recognizable name on the Vision Park Board slate.

“We have an amazing team of people. Everyone’s really taken us under their wing – the new candidates,” he said, noting the considerable support he’s received from the Mayor and councillors during the campaign.

“The fact that they make time for us, and really make us feel acknowledged and welcome … it’s been pretty incredible."

Running with Vision

According to Loke, the decision to run came out of his involvement with local sports and recreation. An avid hockey player (he plays goalkeeper) and vocal advocate for accessible rinks and facilities, he had attended Park Board meetings and developed a sense of respect for the work being done around arenas in the city.

In discussing these issues with Vision Park Board commissioner Constance Barnes, who helped Loke’s hockey club find space to play, he came to realize that the board needed someone to prioritize some of the issues he’d been facing as a young athlete – particularly around providing access to affordable recreation facilities.

“We need to have youth advocacy on the Board. I think it’s very important," he said.

"I think we need to look at arena renewals, and I think we need to address the issue of affordability and protecting public spaces. So for me, being on the Park Board is about addressing those things.”

He described his experience with the BC Green Party as a very different campaign with different goals, so when it came to the civic election, running with the Vision team seemed to be a natural fit.

“I definitely support how Gregor Robertson has led the city. He’s been doing an amazing job in terms of putting forward goals that are achievable and that are going to move our city forward,” said Loke.

He said he intends to follow suit in setting realistic goals and tackling important issues on Parks Board. As for whether or not a Park Board position is part of a long-term plan to move up the political ladder, Loke said that for now, his sole focus is on the task at hand.

“I wouldn’t want to move on to a different position to address other issues until I got the work done that I needed to at the Park Board," he said. 

Diversity on the slate 

Loke speaks highly of his colleagues on the Vision slate, pointing out that they all come from different backgrounds and represent a variety of demographics. With Park Board candidates experienced in fundraising, real estate, law, marketing and non-profit work, he says the diversity makes for a healthy team environment.

“We all live are all different areas of the city, which I think is really neat,” he said.

“We are all different age groups, we are all different colours of skin, different sexual orientations – we’re a pretty diverse group of people.”

As part of Vancouver's queer community, Loke brings both a youthful perspective and and LGBTQ representation to the table. He also drew attention to the contrasting NPA slate, noting that their Park Board candidates are predominantly “white, male and straight”. 

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