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Inpiration for ‘Da Vinci’ elected mayor of Vancouver

Da Vinci's Inquest based on life story of RCMP coroner

Ian Austin and Emily Yearwood-Lee
Citizen News Services

Monday, November 18, 2002

VANCOUVER-- Da Vinci's Conquest is complete.

Nicholas Campbell has won three Gemini Awards for playing coroner Dominic Da Vinci.

Larry Campbell, the real-life crusading coroner whose life story inspired the hit CBC-TV show Da Vinci's Inquest, was elected mayor of Vancouver late Saturday night.

All candidates that ran for his left-leaning party, the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), won their seats, earning a majority on council and leading to speculation that there is now an vocal opposition to the right-wing Liberal provincial government in B.C.

Mr. Campbell beat longtime Vancouver councillor Jennifer Clarke, of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) party.

CREDIT: Gerry Kahrmann, The Vancouver Province

Larry Campbell celebrates becoming Vancouver's next mayor. Mr. Campbell is the real-life crusading former RCMP officer and coroner behind the hit CBC-TV show Da Vinci's Inquest.

Mr. Campbell, a former RCMP officer and coroner, was picked for the top spot by pollsters.

The NPA had held majority on council since 1986, most recently under the leadership of outgoing Mayor Philip Owen.

A long-time colleague of Mr. Campbell's, John Bethell, said the political newcomer won the race because his tone is genuine, not just carefully choreographed prime-time sound bites.

"He genuinely cares about people and I think that has come out in the election," said Mr. Bethell, a lawyer with Greiner Bethell who has worked as coroner's counsel on countless inquests over the last 20 years. "I've never seen a hidden agenda with Larry -- what you see is what you get.

"He's passionate enough about things that he thinks are important to do something about it."

Mr. Campbell's campaign focused significantly on fixing the problems of the city's downtown east side -- an area notorious for drugs and prostitution. The neighbourhood is where the 63 women who have gone missing -- 15 of which Robert Pickton is charged with killing -- were from.

Mr. Campbell and COPE also promised to bring back the ward system to Vancouver, where city council is currently elected at-large based solely on the number of votes, and to support an elected regional district and transit board.

The party said it would call on the provincial and federal governments to re-invest in social housing and promises a renewed commitment to city green space. It also is opposed to privatization, deregulation and the breakup of B.C. Hydro.

© Copyright 2002 The Ottawa Citizen

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Updated: August 21, 2016