For this feature, Globe B.C. borrows from Marcel Proust (and from other media that have popularized the French author’s questionnaire) as a way to get to know important people around this province when they’re not making headlines. Here is Andrea Reimer, a Vancouver city councillor who has announced she won’t seek re-election this fall.
What is your greatest fear?
It used to be that the Age of Reason was coming to an end. But now that it seems clear that it is indeed over – or at least taking an extended time out – I feel like I don’t have the time or luxury to be afraid when there is so much work to do.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
You’d have to ask my colleagues but I am guessing it involves one or both of “green” and “city.”
Which living person do you most admire?
This is always such a difficult question! There are so many heroes just here in Vancouver, let alone across the world. But really it’s the people I meet in the community who struggle with language barriers, poverty, housing insecurity, racism, misogyny, mental illness, you name it, and yet still find a way to propel themselves forward to advocate for their children, their family, their communities that I find most inspiring. It’s what drives me to work so hard.
If you could live anywhere in Vancouver, where would it be?
Somewhere where I didn’t have to worry about being evicted because the landlord flipped the property. Again.
What restaurant have you eaten at the most?
Lifetime achievement or just the last decade? If the latter, White Spot at Cambie/12th and since the White Spot shut down, the Edge Café at 8th and Yukon.
If you could be a fictional character for one day, who would it be?
Somehow I feel that it reflects poorly on me but who wouldn’t want to be the 2017 edition of Wonder Woman?
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Rejecting guilt as an unreasonable emotion when you’re doing something you enjoy. (Also Trader Joe’s veggie corn dogs).
What is the greatest issue facing Vancouver?
Housing, and what it will take for society to support the idea that the basic right to safe, affordable and secure housing is greater than any right to profit from that housing.
When and where were you happiest?
I am pretty sure all mothers answer this question the same way.
What is the best book you’ve read this year?
Evicted by Matthew Desmond. It is a detailed, brutal and brilliant narrative that breathes life into the tragedy playing out in cities across North America as senior governments have decided that the right to housing has taken a back seat to the right to profit from housing.
What is the best present you’ve ever been given?
A sewing machine. It was a weird present for the 14-year-old I was, but somehow my dad knew it was what I needed at the time and three decades later I’m still lugging it around because it’s so useful.
If a time machine took you back to depute before Vancouver city council in 1975, what would you tell them?
“Wait, where are all the women?”
Least favourite holiday?
Queen Victoria Day
Personal trait you most despise?
Leaping before I look. It has led to more than a few broken bones (mine), bruised egos (others) and broken eggs (real and imagined).
An object you still own from your childhood?
You have stumped me.
What was your first paying job?
This is totally going to date me but delivering newspapers in the evening.
Dog or cat?
Allergic to both. We had a snake (rescue) but my kid took it with them when they moved into their own place.
If you had $1-million to give to a charity, what cause would you select?
My donations right now are split evenly between organizations that work on poverty elimination, community-driven economic development, LGBTQ advocacy and candidates running for election that will champion these issues when elected.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
See Question 9 above. Also every single time someone you wouldn’t expect to hear it from tells me that they have decided to get involved in politics because of me, it makes every 18-hour day (a.k.a. everyday) feel like it was 100 per cent worth it.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I thought the point of virtues is that they are highly rated qualities.