British Columbia

Squamish chief Ian Campbell puts name forward for Vision Vancouver mayoral candidacy

Campbell is a Squamish hereditary chief and has been one of the nation's 16 elected councillors for four consecutive terms, since 2005. He has also worked as the Squamish Nation's lead negotiator and cultural ambassador.

Hereditary chief and councillor, who would be city's first Indigenous mayor, touts 'bridge-building' qualities

Squamish hereditary chief Ian Campbell announced Monday that he is seeking nomination to run as mayor of Vancouver for the Vision Vancouver party. (James Mulleder/CBC)

UPDATE, Sept. 11, 2018: Campbell dropped out of the Vancouver mayoral race on Sept. 10, after reflecting on "the political landscape" and his "complicated personal journey." Read more here.


Squamish hereditary chief Ian Campbell is the latest person to announce his intention to run for mayor of the City of Vancouver.

Campbell, 44, has put his name forward as a candidate for Vision Vancouver, the city's governing party. The current mayor, Gregor Robertson, is not seeking re-election

"Being the first Indigenous mayor of course would be quite exciting, but it doesn't stop there," Campbell told CBC News Sunday evening.

"I think my competitive advantage is that I'm very well rounded in a number of issues."

'Bridge builder'

Campbell is a Squamish hereditary chief and has been one of the nation's 16 elected councillors for four consecutive terms, since 2005. He has also worked as the Squamish Nation's lead negotiator and cultural ambassador.

During his time as an elected official, Campbell has negotiated with municipal, provincial and federal governments on major projects like the 2010 Winter Olympics and negotiating a new lease with the Whistler Blackcomb resort.

Hereditary chief Ian Campbell is Vancouver's latest mayoral candidate. (Ian Campbell)

He says his experience collaborating with multiple levels of government is an asset for what he sees as a new era of municipal politics.

"I think that the need for a new style of leadership, a bridge builder, has never been more needed than now," he said, citing housing affordability and the opioid crisis as examples of issues that need multi-level coordination to be resolved.

"No one has the magic bullet. We need to come together to gauge with all the communities on what that looks like."

'This is my home'

Campbell currently resides in North Vancouver, where he rents a home with his two children, his fiancée and her child.

But he says he and his family have deep roots in Vancouver — his father is Musqueam — where he has lived on and off for years. 

"My family has lived here for millennia. This is my home," he said. "We've been welcoming people here since 1791." 

Vancouver voters go to the polls Oct. 20, 2018. (Christer Waara/CBC)

The NPA recently announced investment manager Glen Chernen, park board commissioner John Coupar and business owner Ken Sim as its potential mayoral candidates. 

And SFU Centre for Dialogue director Shauna Sylvester and NDP MP Kennedy Stewart have both said they will run as independent candidates to prevent splintering the vote among the city's four progressive parties. 

Campbell said he chose to run as Vision's candidate because of what he called the party's positive, tangible results on projects like the 2010 Olympic Games, its stance on protecting the coast, and its move toward reconciliation with Chinese and Indigenous communities. 

"My real purpose is to hold them accountable. We need to keep on moving," he said. 

Campbell said Vision Vancouver's mayoral race will close on June 24. 


Maryse Zeidler


Maryse Zeidler is a reporter for CBC News in Vancouver, covering news from across British Columbia. You can reach her at