British Columbia

NDP MP Kennedy Stewart mulls run for mayor of Vancouver

The two-term Burnaby South MP joins others considering a run as a consensus candidate for the city's centre-left parties.

2-term Burnaby South MP joins others considering run as consensus candidate for city's centre-left parties

NDP MP Kennedy Stewart says he's encouraged by conversations he's had about running for mayor of Vancouver, and will likely make a final decision this week. (CBC)

MP Kennedy Stewart says he's been discussing a run for mayor of Vancouver with the city's various left-wing parties — and is encouraged by what he's heard.

"I gotta say, the reaction has been pretty overwhelmingly positive," said the NDP MP for Burnaby South, who said he would likely make a formal decision this week. 

"This is an opportunity to have a dream job and I'm very serious about pursuing it."

Stewart, who lives in downtown Vancouver, was a political scientist at Simon Fraser University prior to his election as an MP in 2011.

He said he was encouraged to run after a poll showed he had a positive approval rating among Vancouverites, and said he would resign as an MP if he is was on the ballot in the Oct. 20 election.

Consensus candidate

On Friday, Vision Vancouver announced they would field a candidate for mayor to replace Gregor Robertson, who announced in January he wouldn't seek re-election

"I do think Vision Vancouver under Gregor Robertson did try to do their best to address [the housing crisis], but a lot more has to be done," said Stewart, who didn't know whether he would seek Vision's nomination or run as an independent if he went forward with his candidacy. 

"I think with now a more favourable government in Victoria, and the Liberals in Ottawa making more positive noises, we can move forward if we have the push from the right mayor in Vancouver." 

Gregor Robertson is not running for re-election as mayor. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Stewart is one of many people considering a run for mayor as a consensus candidate for Vancouver's centre-left parties. To date, only Shauna Sylvester has officially announced her candidacy, with Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr and Vision Coun. Raymond Louie also mulling a run.

"I am familiar with this early phase of the election in Vancouver. There is a lot of posturing, and working out the differences and the aspirations of the different groups and civic parities," Stewart said. 

"But there's a lot of energy here, and I think it'll all get harnessed working in the right direction very soon."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Justin McElroy

@j_mcelroy

Justin is the Municipal Affairs Reporter for CBC Vancouver, covering local political stories throughout British Columbia.

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