Vancouver City Councillor

About Geoff

Geoff Meggs was elected to City Council in November 2008 on the Vision Vancouver team led by Gregor Robertson. He lives with his wife, Jan O’Brien, and their loyal dog Felix in a False Creek town house. They have two adult daughters.

Since his election, Geoff has worked on a number of difficult and high-profile issues, including the city’s delivery of successful Winter Olympic Games, the refinancing of the Olympic Village, the implementation of a region-wide U-Pass and the expansion of cycling infrastructure.

In 2011 he was appointed as a Vancouver director on the Metro Vancouver board, where he serves on the housing and transportation committees.

Geoff is an award-winning journalist and author whose career has combined community and social activism with senior leadership positions in government and the labour movement. He has the reputation of someone who knows how to balance idealism and pragmatism.

He is the author, with Rod Mickleburgh, of the 2012 Hubert Evans award-winning The Art of the Impossible, a history of the Dave Barrett NDP government.

During his journalistic career, his investigative writing broke a number of important stories. He was the first to flag the threat posed to wild salmon by salmon farming. He exposed top-level political interference in Ottawa that led to the approval of a polluting molybdenum mine. He spotlighted waste and mismanagement in the health care system.

Geoff has a first-hand understanding of our city, both from the community level and from City Hall. He has lived in Vancouver for more than 30 years, mostly in Douglas Park and False Creek, but also in Strathcona, on the edge of Chinatown.

He understands the experience of working families from his years in the labour movement, first in the fishing industry and later in health care.

He has held senior positions in provincial and municipal government. He learned how the city works during his three years as an executive assistant to Mayor Larry Campbell.

Born and raised in Toronto and Ottawa, Geoff graduated from the University of Toronto and began his career in journalism with a community paper in Toronto, before moving on to a Calgary daily and then The Canadian Press in Vancouver.

During the 1980s, he won more than 20 awards as the editor of the coastwide paper published by Fishermen’s Union, where he developed a wide range of contacts in coastal communities and among First Nations. His history of the salmon fishery won the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for the best work of BC history in 1992.

In 1990, Geoff became communications director of the Hospital Employees Union, working with health care workers as they won historic pay equity settlements and negotiated critical agreements to support reform of the health care system. In 1996, he was appointed communications director in the Premier’s Office under Glen Clark.

After successfully establishing his own communications consulting business in 1999, Geoff returned to the labour movement in 2001 as assistant to Jim Sinclair, president of the BC Federation of Labour, a position he held until he was hired by Mayor Larry Campbell on election night in 2002.

During his time at City Hall, Meggs was responsible for work on the 2010 Winter Olympic Games bid, the fight to win major new investments in buses and rapid transit, the lobbying effort to win federal financial and legal support for the supervised injection site, budget consultations and many other community issues. He was a founding member of Vision Vancouver and served on its executive from 2005 to 2008.

Geoff left City Hall in September 2005 to work full time in support of Jim Green’s candidacy for mayor. When Jim was defeated, Geoff returned to the BC Federation of Labour as Executive Director, a position he left in January 2008 to resume his private consulting practice through his firm, Tideline Communications.

Geoff is an avid cyclist and hiker, usually putting aside a week each summer for a back country trip with his family.