Ken Sim defeats Kennedy Stewart to become Vancouver mayor

Ken Sim has been elected the next mayor of Vancouver. Sim, who lead the new ABC Vancouver slate, defeated 14 other candidates, including incumbent mayor Kennedy Stewart.

Ken Sim has been elected the next mayor of Vancouver.

Sim, who lead the new ABC Vancouver slate, defeated 14 other candidates, including incumbent mayor Kennedy Stewart.

“The path to get here was incredibly long — 135 years after the first Chinese head tax was paid just for the right to come here and work on building a railway, Vancouver has elected its first Chinese-Canadian mayor,” Sim said Saturday during his victory speech.

“The history of this moment isn’t lost on me, but the honour really goes to those whose shoulders I stand on.”

“You can’t lose if you never give up,” he added, highlighting the election four years ago and giving thanks to the candidates who stuck by him.

It was also a big night for Sim’s party. Early results show every single candidate ABC Vancouver ran was elected. The party has gained a majority on council, with preliminary figures showing all seven members of his slate, including incumbents Sarah Kirby-Yung, Lisa Dominato, and Rebecca Bligh, elected.

Sim is the co-founder of two Vancouver-based companies. In the 2018 vote, he lost to Stewart by less than 1,000 votes.

Sim’s promises included a focus on public safety, with a pledge to hire 100 police officers. The Vancouver Police Union has backed Sim, endorsing a political candidate for the first time.

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In addition to public safety, Sim has also promised to focus on affordability by tripling housing starts and streamlining permitting within the city.

“And we will work to make Vancouver the most accessible city in the world. We’re going to start the work on day one to reduce permit times on building new homes and starting new businesses. We are going to expand the responsible consumption of alcohol in our parks and we’re going to bring back honours classes and the school liaison officer program,” he told supporters.

“We all love our city and it’s this fact that drives me to do what I do. I do believe that our diversity of thoughts and lived experiences makes us stronger, I believe that we can unite our city again, I believe we can bring our best ideas to the table no matter where they come from, and I believe that we can all work together to reclaim our title of best city in the world.”

Kennedy Stewart concedes

Stewart was first elected as mayor in 2018. He ran in 2022 with the Forward with Kennedy Stewart party.

He had promised to increase the housing supply in Vancouver while also protecting renters. His platform also included expanding mental health supports, as well as creating a sustainable and equitable city.

In his concession speech Saturday, Stewart outlined some of his team’s accomplishments.

“On the opioid crisis, we became the first major city in Canada to decriminalize drugs and deliver a safe supply and save lives. We passed Christine Boyle’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, which will reduce Vancouver’s carbon pollution by 50 per cent by 2030, and we supported the legal fight to sue big oil,” he said.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and I’m actually sad to be giving up the mayor’s chair, although administering points of order and a million amendments every meeting, I’m not going to miss that too much.”

Prior to becoming mayor four years ago, Stewart was an MP for the NDP for seven years.

In addition to Sim and Stewart, Satwant Shottha, Imtiaz Popat, former councillor Colleen Hardwick, Leona Brown, Francoise Raunet, Lewis Villegas, Ping Chan, Fred Harding, Mike Hansen, Ryan Charmley, Dante Teti, Mark Marissen, and Golok Z Buday were also in the running for mayor.

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