Coalition of Progressive Electors

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Coalition of Progressive Electors

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The Committee of Progressive Electors was formed in 1968 as a left-wing challenge to the civic policy and the Non-Partisan Association regarding development and social issues. The two key players in the formation of COPE were Alderman Harry Rankin and Frank Kennedy, chairman of the Metropolitan Advisory Committee of the Vancouver and District Labour Council. COPE was intended to encompass labour, small business, community groups, and reform organizations. Their first campaign, complete with a party platform, was held in the fall of 1968. Alderman Harry Rankin was re-elected under the COPE banner, but it was not until 1980 that a breakthrough occurred, with Harry Rankin, Bruce Yorke, and Bruce Eriksen on City Council; Libby Davies and Pat Wilson on Park Board, and a COPE majority on School Board. In 1993, a new name, Coalition of Progressive Electors, was adopted, to reflect the expansion of a broader base of activists. The acronym of COPE was preserved.


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