British Columbia

Mayoral candidate Ken Sim argues not coming from a political background is an advantage

Despite not coming from a political background, Ken Sim says he has what it takes to be mayor of Vancouver because of his business experience — something he believes is needed to address the city's affordability crisis.

He hopes to use business experiences to address Vancouver’s affordability crisis

Ken Sim won the Non-Partisan Association's nomination to run for mayor in the October 2018, Vancouver municipal election on Sunday, June 3. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Despite not coming from a political background, Ken Sim says he has what it takes to be mayor of Vancouver because of his business experience — something he believes is needed to address the city's affordability crisis.

The Vancouver-born-and-bred entrepreneur won the Non-Partisan Association nod for mayoral candidate last week, beating two-time park board commissioner John Coupar and self-described government watchdog Glen Chernen with just under 50 per cent of the vote.

He addressed concerns that a political background is needed to run for mayor.

"A lot of people in this city are looking for change at city hall. They aren't happy with how it's run,"  Sim told Matthew Lazin-Ryder, the guest host of CBC's On The Coast.

"Having experience at city hall doesn't necessarily help us get to that change."

Business background

Sim established two companies: Nurse Next Door, which provides home care to seniors and the bagel franchise, Rosemary Rocksalt.

"Vancouver has become a tough place to either start a business or keep the business in the city," he said. "When the environment for business isn't great, there is less opportunity."

He's aiming to replace retiring Mayor Gregor Robertson in the upcoming civic elections on Oct. 20.

Sim said he plans to focus on issues of affordability, livability, transportation, accountability at city hall and will seek direct feedback from community residents.

"The city is at crossroads right now," he said. "I want to make sure that anything we do fits in our local communities and makes sense because there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution."

With files from On The Coast.

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