Squamish Nation chief Ian Campbell declares he wants to make history as Vancouver's first Indigenous mayor

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      Squamish hereditary chief Ian Campbell has officially announced he's seeking a nomination for mayor of Vancouver.

      He made the news official at a press conference convened in Vancouver this morning (May 14)

      Campbell hopes to run with Vision Vancouver, which has held the mayor’s chair since 2008.

      "I stand before you as a unifier, a bridge-builder, to offer a new and better path forward,” he said at a media event convened near the south foot of the Granville Street Bridge.

      “I will not rest until people who work hard and play by the rules can afford to live in Vancouver again."

      If elected, Campbell would make history as Vancouver’s first Indigenous mayor since the city was incorporated in 1886.

      At this morning's campaign launch, Campbell said that his priorities could include affordable housing, mental health, and the city's overdose epidemic.

      Campbell was joined at the event by several high-profile politicians and residents. They included the mayor's former chief of staff, Mike Magee, environmental activist Tzeporah Berman, and outgoing councillor Andrea Reimer.

      On May 10, Campbell told the Straight that he was seriously considering a run for mayor and explained why he likes Vision Vancouver.

      "They've demonstrated tangible results over the years that have changed the narrative," he told the Straight. "That certainly is far different than the reality of my parents' era, my grandparents' era."

      Campbell also praised Vision for what he described as the city’s progress on multiculturalism.

      "It's a pivotal moment in our collective histories," he said. "That's inspired me to seriously look at this opportunity."

      Vancouver’s next election for mayor, councillors, parks commissioners, and school board is scheduled for October 2018.

      Ahead of the election, Vision is undergoing a period of transition.

      Mayor Gregor Robertson announced he would not seek re-election last January. Vision councillors Kerry Jang, Andrea Reimer, Tim Stevenson, and George Affleck have also said their names won’t be on the ballot in October.

      It all leaves Heather Deal and Raymond Louie as Vision’s only sitting councillor who haven't announced departures from civic politics.

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