Calgary councillor Brian Pincott won't seek re-election this fall
'I've looked at the things I set out to accomplish and I've accomplished a lot of them,' says Ward 11 rep
Brian Pincott, the Calgary councillor for Ward 11 since 2007, will not seek re-election in October.
"I absolutely love this job and I want to leave when I absolutely love the job," Pincott said Tuesday.
"I've looked at the things I set out to accomplish and I've accomplished a lot of them."
In a written statement, the councillor highlighted the fight against urban sprawl, improved cycling infrastructure, expanding transit and support for the arts sector as some of those accomplishments.
Pincott was also the driving force behind Calgary's adoption of LED streetlights and recently sparred with vocal opponents of the southwest bus rapid transit plan.
Work will continue in some form
There are no immediate plans in Pincott's future, although he is considering running in the next provincial election in the Calgary-Mountain View riding, where it's widely anticipated David Swann will not seek re-election for the Liberals.
He earlier rejected a request from the federal Liberals to run in the Calgary Heritage byelection.
"I could go back to school to get my MBA, or get an ornithology degree, or look for a really great not-for-profit to make a difference in the community. Or, or, or. I get excited at the unknown of what it possibly could be."
The battle over the southwest BRT wasn't a reason for leaving municipal politics, Pincott said, although he does admit the "unrelenting nastiness for 10 months" did wear him down.
Public consultations on the project were suspended after city staff said they were harassed.
"What was disappointing was that there were people, a section of people, that felt that the type of behaviour they were exhibiting is appropriate," he said. "That being a bully and namecalling, and sharing misinformation, and being abusive is an appropriate way to engage. That is disappointing."
Pincott had strong words for what he saw during the transit debate.
"I think it's a harbinger that we need to be cognizant of, because it's that very type of thing that leads to what we've seen south of the border, that leads to what we are seeing in Quebec, with the killings in Quebec," he said.
"They are not unrelated to what we are seeing happening in the Progressive Conservative party — with the misogyny and the bullying that is happening in some of the campaigns in the Progressive Conservative party — that has led to all the women stepping away. That is disappointing and we need to all take responsibility for that."
Race to replace
The race to replace the incumbent councillor now heats up.
Jeromy Farkas, a former Senior Fellow at the Manning Centre who created that organization's Council Tracker to keep tabs on votes, attendance and meetings, has been actively campaigning for months.
Janet Eremenko, a community facilitation and engagement specialist with Vibrant Communities Calgary, is also running, declaring her candidacy on Feb. 5.
Keith Simmons, president of the Acadia Community Association for two terms, declared his intentions as well.
The Calgary municipal election is set for Oct. 16, 2017.
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With files from Scott Dippel